Noxious weeds are much more than an inconvenience. Invasive and noxious weeds threaten Ontario’s plants and animals, and can be harmful to crops, livestock, humans and our natural environment.
Ontario’s Weed Control Act facilitates the control of noxious weeds on lands in close proximity to lands used for agricultural or horticultural purposes. Under Ontario’s Weed Control Act farmers and landowners have a legal obligation to manage noxious weeds species on their properties.
The Act requires single tier or upper tier municipalities to appoint a weed inspector. Lower tier municipalities are also required to appoint a weed inspector. Lastly, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has the authority to appoint a provincial weed inspector. If notified about noxious weeds on lands close to ones used for agricultural or horticultural purpose, the weed inspector can order the weeds destroyed. If weeds are not destroyed within a set time, the municipality can use its staff to destroy the weeds, and add the cost to the property owner’s tax bill.
The Act also provides for the designation of certain weeds as noxious weeds, which must be destroyed. The list of these noxious weeds is found in Regulation 1096 under the Weed Control Act. Twenty-three weed species are listed as noxious weeds. The Act also gives municipalities the power to declare local weeds as noxious and then subject to the provisions of the Weed Control Act.
Infestations of noxious weeds can significantly limit crop yields. While farmers can undertake measures to reduce weeds on their own farms, the presence of weeds on neighbouring properties, including road allowances, can make on-farm weed control an ongoing problem.
OFA supports the use of approved herbicides (herbicides registered under the Pest Control Products Act are proven to be safe) to control noxious and invasive weeds on private property and public areas. We fully expect individuals and all governments to respect the law and fulfill their responsibility to control these weeds.
Under the Weed Control Act, landowners are responsible for destroying noxious weeds on their property. Likewise, municipalities have the responsibility of controlling it on publicly owned lands.