Will Banning Pesticides Hurt the Economy?
The short answer is no. It will in fact benefit our economy. When pesticides are not used, other methods such as hand weeding must be employed. This is more labour intensive, which will require companies to hire more employees.
Since Halifax introduced a bylaw banning pesticides, the number of lawn care companies in the city increased from 118 to 180, according to Statistics Canada. The number of employees increased as well. The same thing happened in Toronto when that city banned pesticides.
for an excellent article on this topic please click here.
Where Can Bans be Found?
To demonstrate how Canada and in particular, Newfoundland, is lagging behind ohter industrialized countries, the Suzuki Foundation has prepared this list of 60 active ingredients in pesticides which are banned in most OECD (Organization of Economic Coorperation and Development) countries, but are permitted in Canada. This list dates to 2006, so in many parts of Canada, these chemicals are now banned, however, they are still permitted in Newfoundland and Labrador.
As well as Provincial bans in Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (coming into force in 2011), 34 municipalities in BC, and two in Manitoba have active bylaws. Ontario is said to have the most comprehensive legislation in Canada, if not the world. The Department of National Defense and the Canadian Forces have also banned pesticide application on their property. Our province may be the last place in Canada to ban cosmetic pesticides if our government does not address the issue
Despite the ban on applying pesticides in cities like Vancouver, products such as Killex can be and are still SOLD in communities which have bylaws. Only the provincial government has the power to stop a product from being sold.
Some lawsuits have occurred as a result of pesticide bans. Health Canada banned Lindane, a chemical used to treat seeds and were sued by Chemtura, the makers of that chemical. The Supreme Court of Canada ordered Chemtura to pay Health Canada $3.3 million in August 2010.
The town of Hudson, Quebec became the first North American municipality to pass a by-law on pesticide use, as documented in the film A Chemical Reaction. this law was appealed by lawn care companies and the Supreme Court found the town was permitted to enact such by-laws and the appeal was dismissed.
What is 2,4-D?
The most common pesticides applied to lawns are the insecticides diazinion, carbaryl and malathion and the herbicides 2,4-D, mecoprop, dicamba and MCPA.
Health Canada claims 2,4-D (the most common chlorophenoxy herbicide) is safe, however Doctors writing for the Canadian Journal of Paediatrics and the World Health organization classify it as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Health Canada also does not assess the safety of mixtures containing 2,4-D or the chemical formed when it is applied to lawns.
Alberta has banned the sale and use of weed-and-feed which is a combination fertilizer-herbicide containing 2,4-D. However, herbicide-only products are still avaliable for spot treatment. The reasoning behind this is that concentrations of this product are approaching dangerous levels in Alberta’s waterways. This year, Health Canada re-evaluated weed-and-feed and decided it should be banned. For more details, click here.
In British Columbia, Home Depot and Rona have voluntarily stopped selling pesticides, while other stores like Canadian Tire, Walmart and Home Hardware, continue to sell these products in Newfoundland. Unfortunately, in Newfoundland, it is still legal to buy a pesitcide and apply it to your own property. In the muncipalities which have by-laws, it is not legal to apply the pesticide. For a full list of municipalities with by-laws please see the next section, written by Mike Christie.
Population Statistics by Municipality
The lack of adequate protection from unwanted exposure to lawn pesticides at the federal and provincial level has fueled a growing surge in municipal pesticide ordinances designed to enhance the protection of public health and the environment. As of December 31, 2010 the aggregate number of municipal by-laws in Canada stood at 171. So far in 2011, Oak Bay, BC has adopted a pesticide bylaw bringing the current total to 172. An additional eight pesticide by-laws are at the draft stage pending adoption.
Municipalities of all sizes have passed various forms of pesticide by-laws. The largest was the City of Toronto with a population of 2.5 million while some are as small as Sainte-Paule, Québec with a population of 229.
Close to 24 million Canadians, or 79.6% of Canada’s total population (based on the 2006 Census), are benefiting from enhanced protection from unwanted exposure to synthetic lawn and garden pesticides. This figure includes the gold standard province-wide protection provided under Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 and Québec’s Pesticide Management Code as well as New Brunswick’s and PEI’s Pesticide Acts.
This summary report (available for download at www.healthyottawa.ca) was prepared by Mike Christie (Ottawa, Ontario) based upon Statistics Canada’s 2006 Community Profiles released on March 13, 2007 and available online at http://tinyurl.com/2sd2ya. Any errors or omissions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008
Québec’s Pesticide Management Code
New Brunswick’s Pesticides Control Act
Prince Edward Island’s Restrictions on Lawn Pesticides
Nova Scotia’s Non-essential Pesticides Control Act (Bill No. 61)
Alberta’s Fertilizer-Herbicide Combination Product Ban
Pesticide Bylaws Adopted in Quebec
Pesticide Bylaws Adopted in Ontario*
(* prior to April 22, 2009 when new Pesticide Act took effect)
Pesticide Bylaws Adopted in British Columbia