Ontario Seeks Feedback on Pollinator Health Plan

Photo by Wolfgang Hägele, CC BY-SA 3.0

After implementing restrictions on the use of corn and soybean seed treatments last summer, the Ontario government is now seeking public feedback on a “Pollinator Health Action Plan.”

The plan is seen as the third component in the province’s pollinator health strategy, with the other two pillars being restrictions on neonicotinoid seed treatments and the offering of bee mortality insurance.

“While Ontario farmers are working to protect pollinators through integrated pest management, the proposed Pollinator Health Action Plan will create more discussion and encourage greater cooperation to improve pollinator health in our province. It is important to recognize that we all have a role to play in protecting pollinator populations in this province,” said Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal in a statement on Friday.

The document outlines potential actions the province could take in an attempt to mitigate four stressors:

  1. Reduced habitat and poor nutrition.
  2. Diseases, pests and genetics.
  3. Pesticide exposure.
  4. Climate change and weather.

“The draft Pollinator Health Action Plan builds on action the province has already taken to improve pollinator health through a new pesticide regulation that reduces the use of neonicotinoid insecticide. We encourage urban and agricultural communities, environmental groups, municipalities and interested organizations to provide feedback on Ontario’s action plan,” said Environment Minister Glen Murray.

The proposal will be open to comment until March 7, 2016. The public is also invited to provide input on protecting pollinator health by completing this survey.

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