Media Release

CELA Calls for Public Comment to Support Province’s Proposed Regulations for Ban on Cosmetic Pesticide Use and Sales

Nov 13 2008

Toronto – Ontario has moved one necessary step closer to a province-wide ban on the cosmetic use and sale of pesticides. With draft regulations now up for public review, it is important for the public to be heard.

“In general, these proposed regulations are strong and appropriate,” stated Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director with the Canadian Environmental Law Association.“They are also part of the new green economy. Under this new law, Ontario’s lawn care industry can continue to become innovators in non-toxic lawn care, creating economic growth and green jobs.”

The proposed regulations set out the chemicals which will no longer be allowed for outdoor use on lawns and gardens. Some examples include dozens of products containing the controversial weedkiller 2,4-D, and a range of insect-killing products containing toxic pesticides such as malathion or carbaryl, associated with damage to the developing brain.

“The only significant gap in this regulation is its limited application to golf courses. Despite having been treated with extreme lenience, the golf industry will fight this regulation,” observed Kathleen Cooper, Senior Researcher with the Canadian Environmental Law Association. “It is very important for the people of Ontario to register comments on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry,” she noted. At the same time, the provincial proposal does provide important new rights for the public to know which pesticides are used on their local golf courses, and where, and to hear this information at an annual public meeting.” At a minimum CELA urges the province to speed up the time lines over which golf courses will be required to comply with the new requirements.

With Bill 64, the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008, passed by the legislature last June, Ontario put in place the mechanisms to ban cosmetic pesticides province-wide. The regulation also extends to a ban on certain sales of pesticides at the retail level, and strict restrictions on sales of other pesticides.

When the province passed Bill 64, it removed the ability of municipalities to take further action via local by-laws. “CELA strongly opposed removing these municipal pesticide by-law-making powers. However, with the details now spelled out in this regulation, Ontario has proposed a regulation that will be as strong as the best of Ontario’s pesticide bylaws, and in fact goes further than they were able to since it covers retail sales," noted McClenaghan.

“CELA is strongly encouraging the public to comment on this regulation, express their support and ask that the provisions concerning golf courses be strengthened,” McClenaghan said. The public can comment on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry. Deadline is December 22nd.

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For more information, please contact:
Kathleen Cooper, kcooper@cela.ca
416-960-2284, ext 221 or 705-341-2488
Theresa McClenaghan Theresa@cela.ca 416-662-8341