June 25, 2004

York Region wins award for combating Asian Long-horned Beetle

NEWMARKET York Region received the 2004 Ontario Federal Council Leadership Through Collaboration Award from the Government of Canada at a presentation at Regional Council yesterday, for its efforts in combating the Asian Long-horned Beetle (ALHB) infestation in the City of Vaughan.  York Region received the award jointly with a number of agencies and jurisdictions who worked together to stop the spread of the ALHB and Emerald Ash Borer infestation in Windsor, Ontario.
"Since the discovery of the Asian Long-horned Beetle in the City of Vaughan last year, York Region staff have worked quickly and tirelessly with a number of partner organizations on its eradication," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "I'm pleased to see that our efforts and the efforts of our partner organizations to eliminate this threat to Canadian forests have been recognized."
The ALHB, an invasive quarantine insect known to kill healthy deciduous trees, was discovered in an industrial area in the City of Vaughan and north Toronto in September 2003.  It has no known controls in North America.  Since its discovery, York Region, the City of Vaughan, the City of Toronto and a number of other environmental organizations have worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) the Federal Agency responsible for the regulation of agriculture pests to eradicate this destructive threat.
"The impact of the Asian Long-horned Beetle on our forests and our economy could have been disastrous if we had not acted quickly," said Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Chair of the Region's Transportation and Works Committee.  "This award is not only a testament to our dedication to aggressively tackle this problem, but to our collaborative work with other jurisdictions on a potentially Canada-wide threat."
The Government of Canada committed funds in November 2003 to survey and eradicate the ALHB.  In May 2004 it announced compensation for tree owners who had trees removed to stop the ALHB spread.  Details of the fund distribution will be determined over the next several months.
To report a sighting of the ALHB, please call 1-800-442-2342.  For more information on the compensation plan, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.region.york.on.ca
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York Region Manager of Natural Heritage and Forestry Services Ian Buchanan displays the 2004 Ontario Federal Council Leadership Through Collaboration Award, with Commissioner of Transportation and Works Kees Schipper and Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch..

Contact:   Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1232
- Email: michael.kemp@region.york.on.ca

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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