Struggle to ban cosmetic pesticides flares up

Canadian health and environmental organizations today called on the provincial government to abandon its plans to allow lawn care companies to apply pesticides for cosmetic purposes.

A statement from Wildsight said the BC government is currently consulting the public, until December 8, on new rules that would allow cosmetic use by licensed lawn care companies. British Columbians soundly rejected such an approach in past consultations held by the government, and Premier Clark has previously promised a ban on such unnecessary pesticide use.

Revelstoke has banned the use of cosmetic pesticides.

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, West Coast Environmental Law Association, and Wildsight reiterated their call for a ban on cosmetic pesticide use, the use of pesticides to manage lawns and for other unnecessary purposes. A call for such a ban has previously been endorsed by 22 health and environmental organizations.

“British Columbians want a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides,” said Andrew Gage, ataff lawyer at the West Coast Environmental Law Association. “Granting a monopoly on using these pesticides to lawn care companies is not good enough for kids, pets, bees or, indeed, anyone who ends up exposed to pesticides.”

“People living in Ontario and Quebec don’t have to put up with this type of unnecessary pesticide use, and the government is ignoring demands for an equal level of protection,” said Gideon Forman, Executive Director of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “More cosmetic pesticide use, but by lawn care companies instead of home owners, is not a ban, and it’s not what British Columbians want!”

Past government consultations resulted in the largest number of individual comments ever received by the BC government on an issue, and strongly supported a ban on cosmetic pesticide use; most recently about 68% of those filling out the survey hosted by a committee of MLAs investigating the issue favoured a ban. Bans have been adopted in Ontario, Quebec and all four maritime provinces, as well as in 40 municipalities around British Columbia.

Feel free to register your opinion with this proposal by contacting your MLA by telephone or e-mail. Please click here to locate your MLA and obtain his or her contact information.