Provincial pesticide bylaws on the agenda in 2008
UPdate Fall 2007
Times are changing when a Liberal premier thinks a campaign promise to ban pesticides will help win an election. During the Ontario election campaign this October, Dalton McGinty promised to follow in the footsteps of Quebec and implement a province-wide ban on the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides. Now McGinty is back in power, and people in Ontario and across Canada are waiting to see if this is a promise he will keep.
Closer to home, the New Brunswick Liberal government announced that a discussion paper on pesticide use will come before government in the fall session of the legislature. Department of Environment spokespersons say the document calls for public consultation on the issue.
Chris Collins, the vocal MLA who represents Moncton, wants his Liberal colleagues to take decisive action to restrict pesticides. Collins told the Moncton Times-Transcript, "My fellow caucus members have been undoubtedly lobbied by industry so that they protect the systematic distribution of toxins in neighbourhoods, and we're at a point now where I believe this government is committed to making change." Collins wants to see municipalities have the right to restrict pesticide use in their communities. He looks to Quebec and its province wide ban on the use and sale of many cosmetic pesticides as a positive model, and also would like to see the Federal government “evoke more of the precautionary principal in approving pesticides and they shouldn't just be accepting industry-based analysis.”
In Nova Scotia, Environment Minister Mark Parent is finding one reason after another why his government can’t restrict pesticide use province-wide. Not only that, but Nova Scotia still denies 54 of 55 municipalities the right to restrict pesticide use, and Parent has made no commitment to changing this situation either.