Toronto, ON – We support a new Asian carp private member’s bill, to be introduced at the earliest in the fall Parliament session. Fixing current gaps in the federal legislation will help protect Canada’s waterways and the Great Lakes for future generations.
In a report released by Environmental Defence last summer, called Tipping the Scales: How Canada and Ontario Can Prevent an Asian Carp Invasion of the Great Lakes, we outlined existing gaps in the federal government’s Asian carp policy, many of which are addressed in the bill. If passed, the legislation would require that carp are gutted before they cross into Canada from the US. It would also empower Canada’s Border Service Agency to increase fines for noncompliance, and to seize or send back carp to its country of origin.  
The threat of an Asian carp invasion in the Great Lakes is very real. If they make it into the lakes, they could quickly destroy the ecosystem, along with native fish, the binational fishing industry valued at $7 billion US, and Ontario’s boating and tourism industries.
With so much at stake, it’s time to tackle this problem. We call on the federal government to bring this bill forward quickly, and to see that it is passed without delay. Timing is of essence – if Asian carp get into one of the Great Lakes, there is little that can be done to stop them from invading the rest of the Great Lakes and Canadian waterways.     
We hope that in addition to passing this legislation, the federal and provincial governments will work with their US counterparts to implement a permanent solution in the Chicago Area Waterway System to prevent Asian carp from crossing from the Mississippi River into the Great Lakes. Permanent separation is the only solution to guarantee full protection for the Great Lakes from this invasive species.
To learn more about the threat of an Asian Carp invasion and what can be done, please download Environmental Defence’s report, Tipping the Scales: How Canada and Ontario Can Prevent an Asian Carp Invasion of the Great Lakes at environmentaldefence.ca/asiancarp
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or interview requests, please contact:
Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 228; 905-330-0172 (cell); jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca