Published January 14, 2014
Published November 20th, 2013
THEME: Invasive alien species, Legislative review, Prevention Management
TITLE: Are legislative frameworks in Canada and Ontario up to the task of addressing invasive alien species?
AUTHOR(S): Andrea L. Smith, Dawn R. Bazely, Norman Yan
JOURNAL: Biological Invasions
DATE: November 20, 2013
TAGS: invasive alien species, legislative review, Canada, Ontario, prevention, management
ABSTRACT: As a signatory to the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Canada has committed to prevent, control, and eradicate invasive alien species (IAS). Yet, despite developing policy on biodiversity and IAS, the federal government has been criticized for its inaction on biological invasions over the past decade. In Canada's most populous province, Ontario, similar conditions have been raised about the provincial government's approach to dealing with IAS. The ongoing criticism of government response suggests that an effective legislative framework to guide and coordinate action on IAS may be lacking in Canada. In this paper, we examined how well existing legislation at the federal and Ontario levels addresses IAS threats, and thus contributes to CBD commitments. We reviewed a total of 98 pieces of legislation, comprised of 55 federal acts, two federal omnibus bills, and 41 Ontario acts. Of these, 20 federal and 12 Ontario acts were found to cover IAS either intentionally or incidentally, but IAS was not the central focus of most legislation. No consistent terminology existed across legislation referring to IAS, further highlighting a lack of focus on the issue. Legislation on IAS was administered by several different ministries both federally and in Ontario, but coordination of action among agencies was not explicitly addressed in laws and regulations. While many acts provided broad powers of enforcement, most provisions were not directly linked to IAS prevention and management. In general, Canada's legislative framework on IAS is fragmented, and this complicates the development of a coordinated approach to this problem.
LINKS: To view the entire publication, go to http://www.caisn.ca/publications/Smith_etal_2013_Biolinvas.pdf.
COPYRIGHT: Copyright © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Smith, A. L., D. R. Bazely and N. Yan. 2013. Are legislative frameworks in Canada and Ontario up to the task of addressing invasive alien species? Biological Invasions DOI: 10.1007/s10530-013-0585-x.
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