Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw receives First and Second Reading

By David F. Rooney

City Council has given First and Second Reading to its proposed Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw. The City’s lawyers are now examining the proposed legislation, officially tagged as Bylaw No. 1988, and public comment will be sought over the coming months before it is brought back for possible amendment and then Third and Final Reading.

Once it is enacted, the bylaw will prohibit the use of certain pesticides within city limits by both private property owners, businesses, institutions, the School District and the City. There is a schedule of 46 pesticides that are permitted (please click here to read the full list) under  certain circumstances:

  • the golf course sought and received a dispensation to use certain fungicides to kill snow mold, which plays havoc with greens and fairways;
  • pesticides may be used to control or destroy health hazards;
  • pesticides may be used in public and private swimming pools;
  • they may be used to purify water; and
  • inside buildings to control ants, termites and wasps.

Bylaw enforcement officers will, under this legislation, have the power to enter public property if they have reason to believe pesticides are being unlawfully used and they will have to power to issue a ticket to alleged offenders.

Councillor Phil Welock says most people in town will likely obey the bylaw although he noted “there might be the odd scofflaw.”

Environmental Coordinator Penny Page Brittin said it would be ideal if the golf course foreswore the use of pesticides completely but said “they made a lot of progress” in finding alternatives to chemical pesticides except in the case of the substances they need to control snow mold.

The City is planning a comprehensive public education plan regarding this bylaw and an open house will be held at the Community Centre later this spring.