Invasive Species Centre

Invasive Species Centre

November 05, 2014 14:03 ET

Invasive Species Centre Applauds Ontario for Reintroducing Invasive Species Legislation

SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 5, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The Invasive Species Centre commends the Government of Ontario for reintroducing much-needed legislation that will help to prevent introduction and slow the spread of invasive species in the province.

The proposed Invasive Species Act, reintroduced in the provincial legislature on November 5, 2014, will help to priorize those invasive species that pose the highest risk to Ontario's environment and economy, provide new regulations and penalties to help deter the introduction and spread of these species, and help to bring down silos that get in the way of stakeholders working together efficiently and effectively. Once passed, this legislation will give Ontario new tools and authority to ban activities such as possessing and transporting certain high risk invasive species. It will put mechanisms in place to support preventative measures and address urgent threats.

"Ontario is showing tremendous leadership with this new legislation, and is the only jurisdiction in Canada to propose such a comprehensive package of tools to proactively address invasive species," said Dilhari Fernando, Executive Director, Invasive Species Centre. "Invasive species threaten Canada's environment by altering natural spaces and endangering the species that are native to our regions. Imagine a Canada where fall colours are a thing of the past or where we can no longer take our families canoeing or fishing in our lakes and rivers. This could be our reality if we don't act to address the threats posed by invasive species."

"Invasive species are expensive to manage and cause losses for the forestry, fishing and tourism industries while also chipping away at the urban forests in our cities. Ontario's investment in this legislation will reap savings over time," said Fernando. "Prevention and response have a cost, but it is not as high as managing the economic and environmental fall-out of invasive plants, insects or fish once they become established in landscapes and waterways."

In Canada, there is no single entity that is responsible for invasive species prevention and control. The responsibility is widely shared, and distributed, across all levels of government, not-for-profit groups, volunteer organizations, academia and others. "Invasive species are an invisible threat, meaning that the current level of awareness among Ontarians is quite low. We need to better engage the general public and get them excited about how they can contribute to preventing invasive species," said Fernando. "This legislation will help to build momentum to more fully involve the private sector, students and teachers, and families across Ontario in playing an important part in invasive species control."

Since April 2011, the Invasive Species Centre has invested almost $4.3 million on over 150 projects in natural and applied science, innovation and technology transfer, education and outreach on invasive species. This work forms an important part of Ontario's efforts to prevent the introduction of new invasive species and to proactively manage those species that have established to minimize their negative economic and environmental impacts.

About the Invasive Species Centre:

The Invasive Species Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that connects stakeholders, knowledge and technology to prevent and reduce the spread of invasive species that harm Canada's environment, economy and society. The Invasive Species Centre: brings together experts; supports, coordinates and leads projects; and communicates findings and outcomes to prevent the spread of harmful invasive species. Visit our website at www.invasivespeciescentre.ca.

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