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Recent News

Bill 37, the Invasive Species Act, Receives Royal Assent

The Invasive Species Centre endorses the leadership of the Province of Ontario in passing Bill 37, the Invasive Species Act. After passing the Third Reading on October 21, 2015, the Bill has promptly received the Royal Assent necessary for its approval. The first of its kind, Ontario’s Invasive Species Act fills a large legislative gap that addresses the need for provincial authority to deal holistically with invasive species. There is no similar comprehensive instrument anywhere in Canada at the federal or provincial levels that condenses the authority to deal with invasive species. By implementing this Act, Ontario will take a large step forward to proactively prevent invasions and expedite the response when invasions occur. The Invasive Species Centre’s own work to prevent harmful invasive species impacts on Canada’s environment, economy and society will be bolstered by this appropriate systemic change in the province of Ontario.

Because of its geography and trade centres, Ontario is especially at risk for the significant, far-reaching environmental and socio-economic impacts that invasive species cause. This Act gives Ontario the tools and authorities needed to intercept and quickly respond to invasive species by: having the ability to classify the threat level of a species, prohibiting the import and possession of significant-threat species, and by providing the Minister with the power to implement a temporary-threat designation to a newly discovered invader. By passing the Invasive Species Act, Ontario is taking necessary action to limit the costs and impacts of invasive species, and protect Ontario’s environment, economy and society for its citizens and future generations. The Act will come into effect in one year.

The approved Bill and Invasive Species Centre presentation to the Standing Committee on Social Policy can be accessed online for further reading.    

Invasive Species Centre Names Tracey Cooke New Executive Director

The Invasive Species Centre announced that Tracey Cooke has been named the Invasive Species Centre’s new Executive Director, effective November 2, 2015.

Through her work with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ducks Unlimited Canada and consulting in the private and not-for-profit sectors, Tracey Cooke brings expertise in partnership development and stakeholder relations. Tracey is skilled at forging and nurturing partnerships through collaboration, and is an enthusiastic communicator, facilitator and fundraiser. Her strong track record of managing complex programs with diverse partners makes Tracey uniquely qualified to lead the Invasive Species Centre as it grows existing relationships and seeks out new partners to work together on priority projects.

“The Board of Directors is very pleased that Tracey Cooke is stepping into this critical role for the Invasive Species Centre,” said Board Chair, Dr. Brendon Larson. “Tracey brings a fresh perspective to the issue of invasive species and the Invasive Species Centre and this innovation will serve to strengthen the abilities and resources that the organization will need to continue to thrive and address the enormous challenges that invasive species present.”

“The Invasive Species Centre has been a leader in the efforts to coordinate a response to invasive species and I feel privileged to take on the challenging role of Executive Director,” Tracey Cooke said. “From a young age, I have had a passion for stewardship, natural resources management and the outdoors and I hope to harness that enthusiasm to build on the many successes that the Invasive Species Centre has had since its inception in 2011. Together with the Board and Team, I will work hard to address the challenges that we will be faced with in order to address the impacts of invasive species across Canada, and beyond.”

Tracey Cooke holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Environment and Resources Studies from the University of Waterloo. A native of Thessalon, Ontario, Tracey lives on the North Channel of Lake Huron with her husband and three children. Please join the Board and staff in welcoming Tracey Cooke to the Invasive Species Centre.


Asian Carp Innovative Solutions Competition

Asian Carp Canada is hosting an Innovative Solutions Competition for post-secondary students, on March 5th 2016, to develop a device, technology, equipment, chemical, or other method that could be utilized to either prevent or manage Asian carp.

For more information and to register visit the Innovative Solutions Competition page.

Spot the Difference in Owl Magazine

Check out this month's edition of Owl Magazine and see if you can spot the differences that Asian carp cause if they established in the Great Lakes. Check in on Asian Carp Canada's Spot the Difference page to see answers and an explanation of why Asian carp could negatively impact Canada's waterways.


Government of Ontario

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Natural Resources Canada

Canadian Food Inspection Agency