Joint Letter to PM AIS Prevention

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.

Prime Minister of Canada

80 Wellington Street

Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A2

Via email :

April 3, 2024

Prime Minister,

We are concerned regarding the inaction of your government to address the threats posed by aquatic invasive species (AIS), particularly zebra and quagga mussels (ZQM), to the aquatic habitats and ecosystems of Canada.

Harms inflicted by AIS on aquatic resources and communities where ZQM have taken hold are well documented. In Western Canada, the threat of this invading species will affect wild fish populations like Pacific salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon, and ZQM stimulate toxic algae blooms that kill migratory birds and contaminate drinking water.

Your inaction also hurts our local economies. Ongoing maintenance to remove ZQM from in-water infrastructure continues to cost Canadians and this invading species is degrading the quality of shoreline environments for human enjoyment. In the Great Lakes region alone, the annual cost of managing these invasive mussels exceeds $500 million per year.

ZQM continue to move westward across Canada and north from the United States, encroaching ever closer to Western Canadian waters. If you continue to turn a blind eye to these ongoing failures, Western Canada will soon face an irreversible invasion of ZQM that will permanently damage more ecosystems and economies beyond the Great Lakes.

Your Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has a mandate to sustainably manage fisheries and ensure aquatic ecosystems are protected from harms such as those caused by ZQM. The Public Safety Minister through the Canada Border Services Agency is mandated to ensure invasive mussels are not imported into Canada. Despite these responsibilities for protecting Canada’s freshwaters from invasive mussels, your ministers continue to fail to deliver their mandates.

This has been confirmed by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) in a 2019 report which shows your ministers have neglected our front-line enforcement officers and failed to take proper steps to stop the spread of invasive species.

Since 2016, common sense Conservatives have repeatedly pleaded for your government to prevent the spread of ZQM. We have joined voices with conservation organizations, municipalities, and water management agencies, but you and your ministers have ignored them, and the problem faced by our communities.

We call on your government to finally prioritize resources and initiate urgent, immediate actions necessary to prevent permanent ecological and economic damages that will be inflicted if your government continues in its failure to provide the leadership required to protect our waters.

Now is the time for focused and effective leadership and actions to protect our waters.

We look forward to your response.


Cc: Hon. George Heyman, British Columbia Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

      Hon. Rebecca Schulz, Alberta Minister of Environment and Protected Areas

      Hon. RJ Sigurdson, Alberta Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation

      Hon. Christine Tell, Saskatchewan Minister of Environment

      Hon. Jamie Moses, Manitoba Minister of Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural  


      Union of BC Municipalities

      Okanagan Basin Water Board

      Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society

      Shuswap Watershed Council

      Fraser Basin Council

     Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society

     B.C. Wildlife Federation

     Association of Alberta Municipalities

     Rural Municipalities of Alberta

     Alberta Invasive Species Council

     Alberta Irrigation Districts Association

     Canadian Prairie Chapter Irrigation Association

     Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association

     Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities

     Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association

     Saskatchewan Invasive Species Council

     Association of Manitoba Municipalities

     Invasive Species Council of Manitoba

     Electricity Canada