Meeting with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

The CFIA is responsible for the regulation of invasive plants at the national level. We believe that the CFIA is failing to protect Canada from the threat posed by invasive ornamental plants and made our case in our recently released White Paper. We had asked the CFIA for input on the paper before we released it, but as that did not come, we published our draft. After publishing our paper in May and receiving some national attention, we received a response from the CFIA in late June.

photo of Amur maple -- Acer ginnala species
Acer tatarica ssp. ginnala), one of the many species that should not be sold or shared in Ontario, according to a recent report by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.

We followed up with many questions and requested a meeting. That meeting with Anthony Amyia, (Chief Plant Health Officer CFIA), Wendy Asbil, (National Manager, Invasive Alien Species and Domestic Plant Health Programs) along with a senior risk assessor, a program specialist and a CFIA policy analyst recently came to pass. The CFIA team offered supportive words about our initiative to reduce the sales and spread of invasive plants via the horticultural trade. However, at the end of the conversation, we felt that there was little indication that the CFIA was contemplating significant change and we were left with many unanswered questions.

We have sent a follow-up letter to CFIA with our observations and questions.

We will let you know if and when we receive a response.