The Invasive Species Act, to be introduced into Ontario’s legislature today, is intended to 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 jurisdiction in Canada to introduce standalone invasive species legislation.
Invasive species pose a number of threats to Ontario’s environment and economy
- 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.
The Invasive Species Act is designed to:
- 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.