Legislation: Weed Control Act, Invasive Species Act
Responsible agencies and link to landing pages: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA – Weed Control Act), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Invasive Species Act)
Related regulations: None
Advisory body and link to landing page: n/a
Roles of legislation and related regulations: n/a
Key definition(s): A Noxious Weed is a plant species that is deemed to be so by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
A Prohibited Invasive Species is one that is deemed to be so by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, or by the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (temporary basis only).
A Restricted Invasive Species is one that is deemed to be so by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, or by the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (temporary basis only).
Noxious Weeds, woody species only (full list can be found in OMAFRA link above): Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris), common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Prohibited Invasive Species, woody plant species only (full list can be found in link above): none
Restricted Invasive Species, woody plant species only (full list can be found in link above): none
- Possession of land with Noxious Weeds (a weed inspector may require that Noxious Weeds be treated and destroyed)
- Obstruction of a weed inspector in the course of his or her duties
- Depositing any Noxious Weed or seeds thereof in a location where they might grow or spread
- Importation, possession, transportation, deposition, release, propogation, buying, selling, leasing or trading of Prohibited Invasive Species
- Bringing a Regulated Invasive Species to a provincial park or conservation reserve
- Deposition or release of a Regulated Invasive Species
Exemptions: The possession of land with Noxious Weeds is allowed (and treatment cannot be required) when it is far enough from land used for agricultural or horticultural purposes that interference is not possible. Exemptions for activities related to Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species may be determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Cultivar exemptions: None specified.
Process for species selection/addition: Both Noxious Weed and Invasive Species determinations are made by high level political appointees, presumably in consultation with expert ministry staff.
Photo Credit: The Niagara Escarpment gives Bruce Penninsula National Park in Ontario its unique geology (Photo: Ryan Tir, under Creative Commons license, via Flickr.com)