Ontario is taking further action to protect communities from the significant social, economic and ecological impacts of invasive species by passing the Invasive Species Act. The Act received Royal Assent on November 3rd, 2015, following its passage in the Legislature on October 21, 2015.
This legislation will support the prevention, early detection, rapid response and eradication of invasive species, such as carp, round goby, giant hogweed and northern snakehead. It will also:
- Give Ontario the tools to ban the possession and transportation of certain invasive species
- Allow for earlier intervention and rapid response to keep invasive species from spreading, for example by preventing the movement of contaminated firewood
- Help ensure compliance through modernized inspection and enforcement measures.
Ontario continues to work with key partners to educate the public and address the growing threat invasive spe-cies pose.
Taking strong action to prevent the spread of invasive species is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan.
No species or carriers have been pro-posed for regulation under the Act at this time. Decisions to regulate species under the Act will be based on risk assessments that consider environmental, social and economic impacts of the species in Ontario. Stakeholders, including landowners and farmers, will have an opportunity to review and comment on any new policies or regulations before they are applied.
“Ontario is proud to be the first and only jurisdiction in Canada to enact stand-alone invasive species legislation. Invasive species pose a significant risk to our natural environment and our economy. This new act is a critical tool in our collective fight against the growing threats of invasive species in Ontario,” said Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
- Globally, costs to the environment, agriculture and communities from invasive species 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.
- To report invasive species sightings, please call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Download the free EDDMapS app at http://www.eddmaps.org/ontario/ to identify and report invasive species from your smartphone.