Putting bigger teeth on fight against invasive speciesWednesday, February 26, 2014 by: SooToday.com Staff
Province proposing new legislation to take action against invasive species
Ontario is taking strong action to address the social, ecological and economic threats that invasive species pose to our natural environment.
The Invasive Species Act, to be introduced today, would support the prevention, early detection, rapid response and eradication of invasive species in the province.
If passed, the legislation would position Ontario as the first and only jurisdiction in Canada to introduce standalone invasive species legislation.
This legislation would:
Give Ontario the tools to ban activities such as possessing and transporting certain invasive species,
Allow the government to intervene earlier and enable rapid response actions, including working with partners to stop an invasive species from spreading – for example by preventing the movement of contaminated firewood,
Help ensure compliance through modernized inspection and enforcement measures.
Protecting the environment is part of the government’s plan to enhance the quality of life for Ontario families and ensure a dynamic economy for future generations.
It is also part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow by focusing on Ontario's greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.
“Ontario is proud to introduce the Invasive Species Act which, if passed, would make Ontario a national leader in invasive species prevention and management. This proposed legislation would be a critical tool in our fight against the growing threat of invasive species, and for addressing the ecological and economic threats that invasive species pose to our province.”
— David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources
“Preventing invasive species from arriving and becoming established in Ontario is of utmost importance. I am pleased that the Ontario government will be proposing legislation today that would help us to accomplish this vital task.”
— Angelo Lombardo, Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
“The Invasive Species Centre is proud to work in partnership with Ontario, and many other important organizations, to combat invasive species in the province. The introduction of this proposed legislation would strengthen these partnerships and make our efforts to fight invasive species even more effective.”
— Dilhari Fernando, Executive Director, Invasive Species Centre
Globally, invasive species costs to the environment, agriculture and societies – including control costs – are estimated to be $1.4 trillion — the equivalent of five per cent of the global economy and seven times the cost of natural disasters.
The cost of managing invasive zebra mussels in Ontario alone is estimated at $75 to $91 million per year. This includes costs to municipalities, businesses, and power producers.
If introduced into Ontario’s aquatic ecosystems, Asian Carp would cause a significant negative impact to the province’s $2.2 billion recreational fishing industry.
You can do your part by reporting invasive species sightings to the Invading Species Hotline at: 1-800-563-7711 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also report online at http://www.eddmaps.org/ontario/.
Read about the Ontario Invasive Species Strategic Plan.
Learn more about the Invading Species Awareness Program.
Learn more about the Invasive Species Centre.