The Regional Municipality Of York

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Region remains vigilant in tracking and managing invasive plants and insects

Annual update on efforts to manage the emerald ash borer and other invasive species in York Region

Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York continues to combat the effects of invasive species such as the emerald ash borer and giant hogweed across York Region with strategies to slow down their spread.

“Invasive species in York Region and Ontario continue to be a growing environmental and economic concern,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “York Region remains proactive in our approach to assessing, preventing and mitigating the impacts of these invasive species.”

Ontario has more invasive species than any other province or territory in Canada. The potential economic impacts on agriculture, fisheries, forests, health care, tourism and the recreation industry are estimated at $3.6 billion per year.

“The Region is committed to protecting our residents, our assets and the local environment,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of Environmental Services. “By investing in prevention and early detection of these invasive species we can minimize the need for long-term, more costly management.”

Together with regulatory agencies, the Region remains vigilant in monitoring for tree pests and diseases and works with partners to reduce the impact of hazardous plants such as wild parsnip and giant hogweed along Regional roads.

Tall grass prairie and oak savanna are both forms of endangered grasslands which covered much of southern Ontario providing habitat to rare butterflies and bird species. Earlier this year, York Region successfully conducted a controlled burn as a tool to fight highly invasive species and allow these endangered grasslands to grow more vigorously.

Learn more about the importance of controlled burns on tall grass prairie in the following video.

Many other invasive insects and plants continue to impact or pose a threat to the Region’s urban landscapes and natural areas. The Region continues to work with local cities and towns, other levels of government and non-profit organizations to combat the threats posed by these invasive species.

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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Media Contact:
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675  ext. 77272 or Cell 905-251-6416

York Region; tracking invasive plants; invasive insects The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release