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New Rules to Fight Invasive Species

Archived News Release

New Rules to Fight Invasive Species

Protecting Environment and Native Wildlife by Banning Damaging Species

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario is prohibiting and restricting 19 invasive species to prevent their arrival and control their spread in the province and protect the environment.

New regulations under the Invasive Species Act, now in effect, ban the import, breeding, purchase and sale of 19 invasive species within Ontario, including Asian carp and phragmites, which threaten the province's environment and economy. The new rules also allow government to establish special restrictions in certain areas of the province if these species are discovered, and to enforce strong penalties for individuals who knowingly bring these species into Ontario.

These preventative measures will help keep the least wanted species from entering Ontario and the Great Lakes, and will provide supports to increase on-the-ground efforts to combat and eradicate invasive species, including through partnerships with local organizations.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario provides annual support to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to deliver the Invading Species Awareness Program to track invasive species sightings and provide public education and outreach.
  • While some of the regulated species are not currently found in Ontario, most are present in the waters of neighbouring states, or have been identified as having a high potential for being introduced into the Great Lakes basin.
  • Phragmites and some other species are present in some parts of Ontario, but through proper mitigation methods can be contained or even removed.
  • Invasive species often out-compete native species for food and take over their habitats, threatening both the environment and economy.
  • Penalties for individuals who contravene the Invasive Species Act include fines of up to $250,000 or one year in jail.
  • Since its creation in 2011, the Invasive Species Centre has received $10 million from Ontario to combat invasive species.
  • In 2013, the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers published a list of aquatic invasive species that they called their least wanted—these are all now prohibited in Ontario.

Background Information

Quotes

“Our government now has the tools to fight invasive species that are threatening our environment and economy. These new regulations will help us to quickly identify and respond to invasive species, from Asian carp to phragmites, and fight these species in communities across this province.”

Kathryn McGarry

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

“The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters welcomes the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s listing of 19 species under the Invasive Species Act as a critical step in the battle against invasive species. We know the damage these species can cause to our native fish and wildlife, which is why, in partnership with the ministry, we deliver the Invading Species Awareness Program and provide public education and information on invasive species.”

Angelo Lombardo

Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

“Farmers are often on the front line in the fight against risks to our environment - and dealing with invasive species is no exception. We are happy the government has listed phragmites as a restricted species under the Invasive Species Act and is committed to working with us to address this very serious issue.”

Don McCabe

President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Media Contacts

  • Media Calls Only: Emily Kirk

    Minister’s Office

    416-314-2206

  • Media Calls Only: Media Desk

    Communications Services Branch

    416-314-2106

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