Ontario introduces Canada’s first invasive species law

Ontario is looking to become the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass a stand-alone Invasive Species Act to help combat species including the ash borer beetle and Asian carp.

With Asian carp threatening the Great Lakes, Ontario is set to become the first jurisdiction in Canada to pass a stand-alone Invasive Species Act.

The act, introduced Wednesday, will provide the framework for dealing with invasive plants and animals, including Asian carp, which Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti says are at Ontario’s doorstep.

“In the past few years we have been hearing more and more about invasive species. Asian carp have overwhelmed some rivers in the United States. . . . Now they are at our doorstep and threatening to invade Ontario waters,” he told a news conference at Queen’s Park.

Ontario is already contending with the zebra mussel invasion of several years ago as well as longhorn beetles, the ash borer beetle, the European common reed, an invasive perennial grass that is damaging ecosystems, and the round goby, a bottom-dwelling fish that can be found now in all five Great Lakes.

“Invasive species pose a threat to our economy and our environment costing the Ontario economy tens of millions of dollars each year. The potential cost is millions more,” Orazietti said.

“Being home to the Great Lakes . . . Ontario is particularly at risk for invasive species. In fact, more of these species have become established in Ontario than any other Canadian jurisdiction, he said.

Source | http://www.thestar.com

Advertisements