Media Release

Environmental Groups Seek Leave to Intervene in Supreme Court of Canada Case on Pesticide By-Laws

Jan 14 2000

Toronto. Eleven environmental groups yesterday applied to the Supreme Court of Canada to intervene in a challenge by two lawn care companies against a bylaw in Hudson, Quebec which bans the use of pesticides in the town. Chemlawn and Spray-Tech had argued and lost in both the Quebec Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal that the municipality did not have the authority to implement the pesticide ban. Both courts decided that Hudson had acted to protect the health of its residents and upheld the bylaw. "The Hudson by-law was an important first step towards protecting Canadians from unsolicited pesticide exposure," says Janet May, Pesticide Campaign Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, one of the lead groups in the application. "There are effective alternatives to lawn care pesticides and the bylaw in Hudson forced companies operating within the town to use non-toxic methods of lawn maintenance." After the decisions by the Quebec Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal, other municipalities in Quebec passed by-laws restricting or banning pesticide use on both publicly and privately owned green space. "The Supreme Court decision will be an important precedent as to what steps any municipality in Canada may take in controlling the local use of pesticides," says Theresa McClenaghan of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), acting as counsel to the groups. The case will be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada later this year. - 30 - For more information: Theresa McClenaghan, CELA Counsel, or Paul Muldoon, Executive Director, 416-960-2284 Janet May, Pesticide Campaign Director, Toronto Environmental Alliance 416- 596-0660