Monarchs & Milkweed - Must Be The Silly Season

Don Lafontaine burnbank at
Thu Jun 22 06:11:30 EDT 2000

A few years ago when I worked with Jeff Crolla on a status report on Monarchs in
Canada for the Canadian Wildlife Service
(, I contacted the appropriate
persons in the Ontario provincial government in Toronto that are responsible for the
law regarding noxious weeds in Ontario. The six or eight "noxious weeds" that the
law deals with are all considered potential threats to human heath or livestock and
Milkweed was put on the list for agricultural reasons about a hundred years ago and
never removed. They are well aware of the status of Monarchs and the abundance of
"butterfly gardens" across the province of Onatrio and take the attitude that they
will only take action on milkweed if there is a specific complaint from a farmer
that his field is being "infected" from a nearby source; such complains are very
rare!  HOWEVER, every year newspapers across the province carry notification that
property owners can get in to trouble for allowing noxious weeds to persist on their
property and the whole list is included. While the intent of the notification is
mainly to deal with species like ragweed, it still sends a mixed (bad) message to
the community and I'm sure as the various Monarch issues continue to rise in public
awareness there will be increasing pressure on the Ontario government to make the
law reflect what it does, not what it could do in "controlling" Milkweed.


Paul Cherubini wrote:

> Chris Hocking wrote:
> >
> > Time to kill the Monarchs?
> >
> > see - ""
> Actually this is a good case of a silly law (i.e. it requires property owners to
> destroy milkweed because it is technically a "noxious" weed)
> that is NOT enforced according to monarch expert Don Davis of Toronto,
> Ontario.  Indeed Canadians in Ontario are proud of some
> milkweed green belts that have been preserved in residential areas
> in the interest of maintaining breeding habitat for monarchs.
> Don Davis is subscribed to this list and can probably comment
> is greater detail.
> Paul Cherubini

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