Town Council met to discuss a motion put forward by Councillor Pam Damoff regarding the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. In her motion, Damoff called on the federal and provincial governments to provide “funding assistance to municipalities for the control and management of the Emerald Ash Borer”.
The Emerald Ash Borer, an insect similar to a beetle or grasshopper, is an extremely invasive species which specifically targets ash trees. This insect is of particular concern to the Town of Oakville, given that Oakville is home to more than 177,000 ash trees.
The Town of Oakville has been a municipal leader in the control of the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. In the 2012 budget, the Town of Oakville allocated over $1.4 million to prevent and control the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. While the majority of this money has gone toward the treatment of ash trees affected by the Borer, some of the money is allocated to provide for the removal of affected trees, as well as for the planting of new trees.
While the Town of Oakville has made great strides in protecting a species of trees which are native to Oakville, there is much more to be done. Federal and provincial governments must provide funds to “develop a coordinated effort to oversee the eradication of the Emerald Ash Borer”.
“The Emerald Ash Borer doesn’t recognize a city limit,” Damoff states, “We need a coordinated effort for this, and other types of invasive species. The only way to do this is to have an urban forestry management plan at higher levels of government.”
The motion urges that “the federal government review its current policy of regulating invasive species under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and develop a distinct Urban Forestry Agency under which invasive species and their treatment would be regulated”.
The motion is also being sent to federal and provincial government officials including local M.P’s Terrence Young and Lisa Raitt, as well as local M.P.P’s Kevin Flynn and Ted Chudleigh.
For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer in Oakville, visit http://www.oakville.ca.
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