The purpose of this decision notice is to inform that the Invasive Species Act, 2015 has passed and to indicate how the Ministry incorporated some of the comments that were received. Overall, most of the comments received were positive and supportive of the Bill.
All comments from the registry posting, as well as from stakeholder and internal consultations, Standing Committee hearings, and other engagement were taken into account and amendments to the Bill were filed with the Standing Committee on Social Policy.
Amendments were made to the Bill by the Standing Committee on Social Policy in response to some of the comments received, to improve clarity and to increase consistency with legislation from neighbouring jurisdictions,
In summary these amendments include:
Change Class names from ‘Significant and Moderate’ to ‘Prohibited and Restricted’.
The rationale for making this change was to increase the public’s ability to understand the rules. Prohibited species is generally not allowed while restricted species may be allowed subject to conditions. Providing clearer class names should also improve compliance and enforcement of the act, while also providing a consistent regulatory terminology with neighbouring jurisdictions.
Enable the full suite of prohibitions to apply to both classes once a species is listed.
The full suite of prohibitions would apply to the Prohibited class in legislation, while limited prohibitions would apply to the Restricted class in legislation however additional prohibitions or requirements may be applied in regulation. These changes address concerns that the limited suite of prohibitions applicable to species in the less restrictive category would limit its application and usefulness. These changes would also assist MNRF with the implementation of the legislation by ensuring that rules and actions align with MNRF’s general invasive species management objectives.
Enable the use of control provisions for both classes of species.
Under the Prohibited class Control Provisions are enabled through legislation while Regulations would specify when Control Provisions would apply to the Restricted class. This change ensures MNRF has the tools to respond when new invasive species arrive in Ontario or spread to new parts of Ontario.
Prevention and Response Plans
Amendment to enable MNRF to prepare Prevention and Response Plans for any listed species. Previously Prevention and Response Plans were enabled for only the Significant threat class.
Administrative amendment to the section prescribing the application of possession as a prohibition under the Act resulting from the changes to the clarification of species as described above.