OFAH FILE: 842
November 5, 2014
For Immediate Release
OFAH applauds new Invasive Species Act
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) congratulates the provincial government on the re-introduction of the Invasive Species Act and its commitment to combat invasive species in Ontario.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) announced this morning that it would be re-introducing the legislation, which was originally introduced in February but was a casualty of the provincial election.
The act is intended to provide a framework to prevent, detect, eradicate, and manage invasive species that impact the natural environment or economy and can have a detrimental effect on our valuable fish and wildlife populations.
The OFAH is home to the Invading Species Awareness Program (ISAP) and works in partnership with the MNRF to provide a program of public education and information on invasive species. The ISAP works to promote early detection of both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, with the aim of preventing the introduction and spread of these species into sensitive ecosystems.
“I am pleased the Ontario government has re-introduced the Invasive Species Act, a positive step in the fight against invasive species,” OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo said. “The sale, movement and importation of invasive species in Ontario are serious concerns. This legislation will provide the minister with the much needed tools to immediately react when a new species or threat is identified.”
If passed, the legislation would make Ontario the first and only jurisdiction in Canada with standalone invasive species legislation. It would give the MNRF more comprehensive inspection powers to determine compliance with the law, introduce a suite of enforcement provisions and penalties and give inspectors the right to take samples and prohibit movement that may result in the spread of invasive species.
“Invasive species have already impacted our lakes and woodlands, and the potential long term economic impact is staggering,” explains ISAP coordinator Matt Smith. “The cost of not addressing this threat to our environment and the economy can be measured in the billions of dollars.”
Ontario’s Invasive Species Strategic Plan recognizes that stakeholders such as the OFAH have a key role to play in the management of invasive species and we are pleased to partner with the Ontario government on this important initiative.
For more information go to www.ofah.org or www.invadingspecies.com. With 100,000 members, supporters and subscribers, and 720 member clubs across Ontario, the OFAH is the VOICE of anglers and hunters and Ontario’s largest and oldest fish and wildlife conservation organization. Visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@OFAH).
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