The Government of Ontario aims to protect pollinators by addressing the four main stressors that pollinators face: loss of habitat and nutrition; diseases, pests and genetics; pesticide exposure; climate change and weather.
The Province is proposing a draft Pollinator Health Action Plan, a component of its comprehensive Pollinator Health Strategy, as a plan for government, stakeholders and the public to work in partnership to enhance the state of health of Ontario’s pollinators, both managed and wild, and to strengthen their populations.
Ontario’s Pollinator Health Strategy
Ontario’s Pollinator Health Strategy (Strategy) was announced on November 25, 2014 as a multi-pronged, phased approach designed to address the four key stressors, while continuing to refine knowledge based on research. The three components of the Strategy include a pesticide regulation, beekeeper financial assistance and an action plan, which together will move Ontario closer to achieving two aspirational targets:
• An 80 per cent reduction in the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed by 2017, and
• A 15 per cent over-winter honey bee mortality rate by 2020.
As a first step, effective July 1, 2015, Ontario introduced new rules that restrict the use of corn and soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoid (NNI) pesticides to where there is demonstrated need.
On September 23, 2015, Ontario launched a permanent, self-sustaining insurance plan to protect beekeepers from colony losses caused by insured perils that occur during the overwinter period.
A Pollinator Health Action Plan (Action Plan) is a component of the Strategy, which in combination with the other Strategy components, will help the government achieve its targets.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has developed a draft Action Plan for the purpose of enhancing the health of Ontario’s managed and wild pollinators. It will promote a sustainable food supply, resilient ecosystems and a strong economy.
The draft Action Plan is a government plan to work with strategic partners to promote environmental stewardship and improve pollinator health over the next several years. It includes a wide range of actions to:
• Promote awareness of actions that all Ontarians can take to enhance pollinator health;
• Establish strategic partnerships for creating pollinator habitat across Ontario’s urban and rural landscapes;
• Strengthen honey bee management practices and reduce the impacts of disease and pests;
• Build on existing provincial initiatives related to climate change, biodiversity conservation, and natural heritage planning; and
• Enhance research, monitoring and surveillance of pollinator health, pesticide and crop pest presence to establish baselines, publicly report on progress and adapt actions in response to performance over time.
The purpose of this posting is to solicit feedback on the draft Action Plan that outlines potential government initiatives that will complement other components of the broader Strategy.
Through consultation, the government is also calling on partners from across all sectors to support and build on the proposed actions in the draft Action Plan recognizing that collective action of governments, industry, environmental organizations, conservation groups, academia, communities and all Ontarians is needed to improve the health of Ontario’s managed and wild pollinator populations.
This proposal was posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting January 22, 2016. Comments were to be received by March 07, 2016.
All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.
Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.
In addition to submitting comments via this notice or in writing, you can:
• Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and,
• Complete an online survey at https://www.ontario.ca/form/pollinator-health-action-plan-survey
Your input is very important to us and will be considered in developing the final Action Plan. We value the feedback from all stages of the Strategy and thank those who have already participated.
A Regulation Proposal Notice (EBR Registry Number 012-3068 – Pollinator Health: A Proposal for Enhancing Pollinator Health and Reducing the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Ontario) was posted by OMAFRA for a 61-day public review and comment period starting November 25, 2014 and ending January 25, 2015.
A Pollinator Health Action Plan Forum was held with key stakeholders on August 25, 2015 in Guelph, Ontario. More than 50 attendees from multiple sectors, including agricultural organizations, environmental and conservation organizations, academics, seed trade industry, among others, participated in the interactive forum to discuss actions and partnerships to improve pollinator health in Ontario.
Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. You will not receive a formal response to your comment, however, relevant comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.