• Submissions were generally supportive of the regulatory proposal. Several submissions recommended additional species that should be regulated. No additional species have been added to the list of regulated species at this time. Species identified during this consultation will be considered as part of future species risk assessment efforts.
• One submission was critical of the decision to regulate Parrot Feather as there is one active producer of this species in Ontario, who supplies the aquarium and water garden industry with this species. However, given the level of risk identified during the risk assessment process and the existing regulations on this species in neighbouring jurisdictions the province is proceeding with the regulation of this species. This species has also been on the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers “Least Wanted Aquatic Invasive Species List” since 2013.
• Several submissions made reference to the need for sufficient resources and funding to effectively implement the Act and this regulation. This included recommendations to explore opportunities to increase the roles of municipalities and Conservation Authorities in the management of invasive species.
• Several submissions identified questions relating to the application of the inspection and enforcement provisions of the Act.
• Exemptions to clauses 7(a)(b)(c) and (e) for dead and eviscerated members of prohibited fish species now also apply to Zander (i.e., in addition to Bighead Carp, Silver Carp, Grass Carp, Black Carp, and any species of the family Channidae (Snakehead)). This allows for continued import and sale of these species within the food fish market, provided they are dead and eviscerated. Zander was added to list of species for which these exemptions apply because it was identified that Zander may also be imported and sold as frozen food fish in Ontario.
• Revisions have been made to the exemption for the incidental movement of Water Solider and European Water Chestnut to clarify how a person must dispose of these species and to require that reasonable precautions are taken to avoid transporting these species outside of the part of the water body where it is present.
• The regulatory proposal consulted on did not identify any exemptions to the prohibitions specified for restricted species in subsection 8(1) of the Act. Based on feedback received, some exemptions for clause 8 (1) (b) have now been added. The regulation now provides an exemption from clause 8(1)(b) of the Act for a person who deposits or releases a member of a restricted invasive species outside of a provincial park or conservation reserve if they do so inadvertently in the course of carrying out activities to control or manage the species, or during commercial, agricultural, maintenance or other activities where the purpose of the activity is not to deposit or release of the species.
• This exemption addresses concerns that activities including roadside mowing, drainage ditch cleaning, site preparation for development, etc. could inadvertently contravene the Act during the course of these activities given that these species are already established in many areas of the province. The ministry will continue the ongoing efforts to work with partners to mitigate further impacts of these established species.
• The regulation now prohibits the possession and transportation of the restricted species in Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves in order to prevent the movement of these species within Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves where they are already present.
• The regulatory posting sought feedback on the potential application of powers under Section 23 (Invaded Places) and 27 (Minister’s actions to control or eradicate invasive species) for restricted species. As a result of feedback received, the regulation does not prescribe these powers for the restricted species. Comments identified the need for additional consultation and policy development prior to recommending that these provisions be prescribed for restricted species.
• The general exemption proposed for preserved specimens now more clearly defines the conditions of the exemption, and includes the requirement that the member of a prohibited invasive species must be dead (i.e., in addition to being preserved in manner that ensures that it cannot be propagated and reproduced), and that refrigeration or freezing do not constitute the primary method of preservation.