Canada’s Ontario province says it will ban the sale and general use of pesticides in what the province says will be among the toughest such environmental laws in North America.
Canada’s most populous province said the new legislation, expected to take effect next spring, would outlaw homeowners’ use of lawn and garden pesticides for such things as killing dandelions.
Exceptions would be made for golf courses, farms and forests.
In Canada, only the province of Quebec has a similar ban, and according to the pesticide industry no US state has a ban in place.
“Our generation is becoming more and more aware of the potential risks in our environment, not only to our health, but to our children’s health,” Ontario’s Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty said in announcing the legislation.
The pesticide trade association, CropLife Canada, said it supported an end to non-essential use of pesticides but said the bill created a double standard by allowing them on farms and golf courses but not on lawns.
“Either they are safe for use or they are not,” organisation president Lorne Hepworth said.
He said the ingredients were already regulated by the Federal Government.
In the Ontario Legislature, opposition conservative legislator Toby Barrett echoed the sentiment, asking why pesticides deemed dangerous enough to be banned in some circumstances would be allowed in others.
“Is it OK to eat food that has been treated with some of the substances we’re talking about today?” he asked.
The Canadian Cancer Society, which has lobbied for bans by cities and provinces, said it was happy the legislation targeted both sales and use.
“We are pleased it’s going to be implemented so quickly,” spokeswoman Irene Gallagher said.
A number of municipalities in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada have already banned pesticide use.
Source – ABC News On Line at: www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/23/2224865.htm
23rd April 2008