May 15, 2014
Landscape Ontario has responded to the call by the provincial government for comments on Bill 167, Invasive Species Act, which passed first reading in the Ontario Legislature.

Compiled by Dr. Jeanine West, who represents Landscape Ontario on the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC), Landscape Ontario’s response was divided into three categories. Those categories include Designation of Invasive Species, Prevention and Enforcement/Penalties.

The LO response divided Designation of Invasive Species into three sections in the Act. In this section of the response, Dr. West listed support, concern and solution.

When stating support for the Act, the response document states, “We support the fact that only species that are prescribed under the Act are to be regulated.” LO also supports the two risk categories (significant and moderate), “particularly with respect to moderate threat species to be allowed to be grown, sold and planted in residential and municipal areas.”

LO also supports the exclusion of the ‘safe list’ and also  the decision making process for the development of serious-threat and moderate-threat invasive species, inclusion of economic impact evaluations, both for protection and environmental management costs, as well as the negative impacts on industry, and the use of science-based risk assessments.

Concerns raised by LO for Designation of Invasive Species are that some organizations are asking for restrictions on new plants that are lacking scientific assessments if MNR deems them a potential risk. “The development of an ‘allowed’ species list discourages the discovery and investigation of new, potentially economically and environmentally rewarding species,” states LO’s response.

I am writing to you on behalf of the nursery and landscape sector in response to Bill 167, Invasive Species Act.  While we support the management of invasive species, we stress that in both the discussion paper (#011-9780) and the Invasive Species Act, 2014, serious gaps have been identified that could severely and negatively impact the sustainability of the nursery and landscape sector.

To view the entire response, go to LO's Response.