Invasive Species Act for Ontario – OVERVIEW

(pictured, above: invasive Silver Carp, image courtesy Ted Lawrence, GLFC)

November 10, 2016 – New Rules to Fight Invasive Species from the MNRF Newsroom.

November 3, 2016 – Ontario’s Invasive Species Act comes into force today.

October 21, 2015 – Ontario’s Invasive Species Act was unanimously passed (100 – 0) at 3rd reading today.  A full version of the final text of the Bill can be found here.
FOCA is encouraged by this enabling legislation and the opportunity it affords the Province to more effectively prevent the spread of harmful invasive species, and to (hopefully) eliciting real action from MNRF on rapid response including control and eradication activities.

September 2015 – Bill 37, the Invasive Species Act, passed 2nd reading in the Ontario Legislature, with a 95 to zero unanimous vote! The Bill is now being considered by Committee prior to 3rd and final reading.

magnifying glassFOCA recently submitted official comments in favour of the proposed Invasive Species Act, with some considerations. Read FOCA’s comments, here. (PDF, 2 pages)

Scroll down for more resources from FOCA about Invasive Species.

November 5, 2014 –  from Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry: Ontario is taking action to protect communities from invasive species through prevention, early detection, rapid response and eradication of invasive species in the province.

Ontario has re-introduced the proposed Invasive Species Act, 2014 which, if passed, will protect the province’s natural environment from invasive species and the significant social, environmental and economic costs they pose for Ontarians.

The act, if passed, would:

  • 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 promote compliance through inspection and enforcement measures.

Quick Facts

  • If passed, the Invasive Species Act would position Ontario as the first and only jurisdiction in Canada to enact standalone invasive species legislation.
  • Globally, invasive species costs to the environment, agriculture and communities, 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.
  • Do your part by reporting invasive species sightings. Call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or email
  • Download the free EDDMapS app to identify and report invasive species from your smartphone. Learn more on FOCA’s Invasives Monitoring pages


Bill Mauro“Invasive species pose a significant risk to our natural environment and our economy. This legislation would make Ontario a national leader in invasive species prevention and management. Working with our key partners, our proposed Invasive Species Act will serve as a critical tool in our collective fight against the growing threat of invasive species in Ontario.”

Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

So what’s the big deal about invasive species? FOCA Facts:

Biodiversity is under serious threat as a result of human activities. The main dangers worldwide are population growth and resource consumption, climate change and global warming, habitat conversion and urbanization, invasive alien species, over-exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)  is an international agreement adopted at the Earth Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. It has three main objectives:

  1. to conserve biological diversity
  2. to use its components in a sustainable way
  3. to share fairly and equitably the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The CBD was negotiated under the guidance of the United Nations. It was signed by more than 150 government leaders at the Rio Earth Summit (which official denomination is the ‘United Nations Conference on Environment and Development’). The Convention is now one of the most widely ratified international treaties on environmental issues, with 194 member countries.

In Ontario, the the conservation of our biodiversity is guided by the Ontario Biodiversity Strategy, 2011.

FOCA provided input to the initial Strategy launched in 2005, and has been a member of the Ontario Biodiversity Council  since 2006.

Terry ReesInvasive Species Act for Ontario – OVERVIEW