Ontario Continues to Take Action Against Invasive Species: These steps would further protect the environment and the economyPublished on February 13, 2020
The Ontario government is protecting the province's environment and economy by taking action to prevent the introduction and spread of 13 invasive species. These species can cause significant harm to biodiversity and navigation in waterways, and affect recreational activities and tourism.
The invasive species for consideration are:
- Wild Pigs
- Marmorkreb (marbled crayfish)
- Tench (fish)
- New Zealand mud snail
- European Frog-bit (plant)
- Yellow Floating Heart (plant)
- Prussian Carp (fish)
- Red Swamp Crayfish
- Fanwort (plant)
- Bohemian Knotweed (plant)
- Giant Knotweed (plant)
- Himalayan Knotweed (plant)
- Mountain Pine Beetle
The government is seeking feedback from stakeholders, Indigenous communities and the public on the ecological, social and economic impacts of these invasive species, as well as the spread of invasive species through the movement of watercraft.
"Our government is committed to protecting Ontario's environment for future generations," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "It is important to prevent new invasive species from arriving or surviving in the province in order to protect our lakes, streams and native plants and animals. In addition, by taking these steps we will preserve and enhance the economic opportunities that ecosystems provide for our communities and industries."
The province is also working with partners in nearby jurisdictions to improve regulatory consistency in the Great Lakes basin.
The ministry is conducting a two-stage approach to public engagement. The initial posting is now available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for public feedback until March 30, 2020. Information gathered will be considered in developing a regulatory proposal to prevent the spread of these species in the province.
The Ontario government will continue to work with conservation partners to coordinate prevention, management, and research activities to help address the serious threat while promoting public education on the negative impacts of invasive species.
- Ontario is also gathering feedback on proposed Prevention and Response Plans for the invasive European water chestnut and water soldier on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, which closes March 30, 2020. The plans will support monitoring, controlling and eradication of these harmful species.
- The Invasive Species Act was established in 2015 and currently lists 20 species.
- Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada that has standalone invasive species legislation. The Invasive Species Act provides legislative tools to prohibit and restrict certain invasive species and carriers that facilitate the movement of invasive species.
- In 2019-2020, Ontario invested over $2 million to support ongoing research, monitoring, and management of invasive species across the province.
- Protecting our natural environment from invasive species by working with partners and other governments and using tools to prevent, detect and respond to invasions is a commitment under the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.
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