Munipal Pesticide Debates

Various discussions related to Chemical Pesticides, Herbicides, Etc.

Nova Scotia to ban some pesticides

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:00 pm

Monday, May 3, 2010

CBC News

Nova Scotia to ban some pesticides

The government of Nova Scotia plans to introduce legislation Tuesday that will ban the sale of some pesticides, CBC News has learned.

The Halifax Regional Municipality banned the use of pesticides in 2003 but doesn't have the authority to prohibit their sale.

The new legislation, which will be announced tomorrow but won't come into effect until next year, will ban the sale of non-essential pesticides province-wide.

These are defined as cosmetic pesticides used for weed and pest control in lawn and turf maintenance.

The province said the ban would not extend to pesticides used to control pests that can harm human health, such as rodents or micro-organisms in swimming pools. Pesticides used in vegetable gardens would also not be covered by the ban.

The government said it received hundreds of responses during recent public consultations on the pesticide issue and found that about 80 per cent of respondents favoured a ban on cosmetic pesticides.

Lawn-care professionals told CBC News they also support the ban and are interested to see exactly which products will be deemed acceptable.

Read more: ... z0mv7PYJRz
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Surrey's pesticide bylaw expected to pass

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:01 pm

May 03, 2010

Surrey's pesticide bylaw expected to pass

By Kevin Diakiw - Surrey North Delta Leader

Surrey council is set to pass a strict bylaw tonight banning the cosmetic use of chemical pesticides.

Except in extremely rare cases, chemicals used to control pests will be restricted in this city on both private and publicly owned land.

It's been a long battle for the Surrey and White Rock Pesticide-free Coalition, which began lobbying Surrey for such a bylaw three years ago.

Several other groups joined force, putting significant pressure on Surrey to act.

The bylaw, which was given near unanimous approval by council at first readings last month, provides exemptions for situations where Surrey doesn’t have the regulatory authority. The exemptions include:

agriculture and forestry operations; controlling noxious needs (as defined under the Weed Act); controlling pests in or on buildings, structures and hard landscaping; managing outbreaks of introduced invasive exotic or foreign pests; managing pests that threaten sensitive ecosystems; purifying water used for human or animal consumption; and responding to human or animal health issues.

Coalition members say they are thrilled to be on the brink of having the bylaw finally pass.

To celebrate the occasion, the group, along with the Canadian Cancer Society and the Green Ideas Network, are presenting a screening of "Chemical Reaction: The story of a true green revolution," Thursday night at Earl Marriott Secondary School Theatre.

The film follows how the anti-pesticide movement began, how it grew, and affected change throughout North America.

It will be shown at 7 p.m. May 6, at Earl Marriott, 15751 16 Ave. Admission by donation. ... 86314.html
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Get off my lawn

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:07 pm

Warning Industry Propaganda Below

May 3, 2010

Cranbrook Daily Townsman


Get off my lawn

The Canadian Cancer Society continues to push the false and misleading information on cosmetic pesticides. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization, Health Canada, the EPA, the European Union, and others, do not list any of the "cosmetic" pesticides as carcinogenic.

The anti pesticide groups continue to ignore the studies done by world recognized scientists that actually study pesticides and the interaction with the environment and human health. In one of the largest studies of its kind the American Health Study, which followed over 85,000 people associated to the application of pesticides it found no evidence or linkage to cancers that would stand up to any scrutiny. The urban landscape uses less than one per cent of the total pesticide use in Canada, agriculture, commercial and forestry use the same products but in far larger quantities.

If there was a causal relationship (and there isn't) than you would be getting it tenfold from other sources, not from your garden or lawn. You also can't get any effect just by being in the area of an application, it just doesn't work that way. Any of the products you can purchase in Canada to use on your lawn or garden have been extensively tested and are safe when applied as directed. Just like any product you buy there are instructions that come with it, follow those and you will not have any issues. Sign the petition and tell the CCS to GET OFF MY LAWN.

Paul Visentin

© Copyright 2010, Daily Townsman

Story URL: ... ff-my-lawn

Cranbrook senior Conservation Officer (CO) Paul Visentin ... ar-country

Paul Visentin
East Kootenay Cranbrook
Conservation Officer, Cranbrook
Tel: 250 489-8537

Paul Visentin says:
May 26, 2009 at 5:08 am
I have supported the CCS in the past and have great respect for the research and avocacy done on cancer issues. I beleive that your organization has been sidetracked from its core mandate to target pesticides. Why does the CCS focus so heavily on its pesticide prevention campaign when you clearly are in need of funds for greater causes. The science on pesticides does not support the CCS position. There are many scientists around the world that do not share the CCS policy on pesticides. There are however many environmental activists, including the two on your board, that use studies that are not based in science such as the Ontario College of Family Physicians 2004 Literature Review. You are diverting funds to environmental activists groups under the guise of prevention and advocacy that could be better used for research. Two of your board members are directors of CAPE and Toxic Free Canada which have no interest in cancer research or prevention but are funded by the CCS. I really think you need to revisit the value of the pesticide campaign and the two associated board members.

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Ontario's New Cosmetic Pesticide Ban

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:08 pm

Ontario's New Cosmetic Pesticide Ban

(Pat Kerr, Ontario Arborist, September/October 2009)

Love it or hate it, Ontario’s new cosmetic pesticide ban is in effect. Failure to comply has the potential to incur fines up to $200,000 and in case you haven’t already read, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

For those who haven’t waded through the legislation with its eleven classifications and lists of pesticides: As of April 22, 2009, no one in Ontario is to buy, sell or use any pesticide except pepper, citronella, vinegar and a few similar products for cosmetic purposes. There are exceptions for forestry, farming, golf course management and yes, arboriculture. The whole act is online at ... 0p11_e.htm. There is also a guideline at ... rators.pdf.

Some of the professionals I spoke to when investigating this article were concerned about customer backlash and heavy fines. One arborist called me back three times to clarify his statement. Another begged me not to use his name. A third pretended not to care but his tone wavered and stuttered voicing concerns about the loss of government contracts. The fear and uncertainty about this legislation is real.
A second group of arborists were happy. “I don’t spray.” I heard over and over again. “It doesn’t apply to my business.” Colleen Eames of Bowthorpe Tree Service said, “It’s a good thing. People often spray for no reason. We use only natural methods of control.” Douglas Kennedy of Green Side Up Environmental Services said, “There isn’t enough chronic exposure testing.”

Another operator who specializes in spraying said they had contacted the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). “The changes are good. The law has not affected our business or the products we use. We already preferred bio products. Non-licensed people should not have the right to spray. Licensed operators and applicators have obtained education to complete spray services. We carry extensive insurance.”
Vince Rutter, of Rutter Urban Forestry in Thunder Bay, took a middle road. He was the only arborist or owner of a tree care company who told me he had actually tried to read the entire piece of legislation. “I am happy with the act,” he said. “I went on the MOE website and called the district office with questions. It wasn’t easy to sort out the chemicals and it was also all new to my district rep but my supplier was helpful.” Rutter continued, “This is the biggest new legislation to happen to the arborist industry in years. We must be informed.”

Specifics of the Act Relevant to Arborists
Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment refers to arborists as “licensed professional tree experts.” The minimum qualifications for this term under the act are: “A person who is operating a pest management business must hold an operator licence and carry the appropriate insurance coverage. This person must hold an exterminator licence and any employees applying pesticides to trees must also hold the appropriate exterminator license.

To apply pesticides to trees requires either a landscape licence (if trees do not exceed 1 hectare) or a forestry licence. Forestry production has an exception under the cosmetic pesticides ban. In order for a landscape licence holder to use a Class 9 pesticide on a tree, he/she must obtain the opinion of a person who is prescribed as qualified to provide an opinion that a Class 9 pesticide is necessary in order to maintain the health of the tree. (Note – the arborist does not require an exterminator licence to provide this opinion but would require the appropriate exterminator licence to apply a pesticide). The following persons may provide this written opinion:

1. A person certified as an arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture.
2. A person registered as a member under the Professional Foresters Act, 2000.
3. A person who has been issued a certificate of qualification as an arborist or a utility arborist under the Apprenticeship and Certification Act, 1998, or another certificate of qualification that, in the opinion of the Director, is equivalent to those certificates.
4. A person who, in the opinion of the Director, has qualifications that are equivalent to those of a person mentioned in paragraph 1, 2 or 3.

Previous to the adoption of the provincial pesticide ban, Toronto, like 154 other municipalities in seven provinces, had their own pesticide ban. Toronto’s bylaw was three pages. Ontario’s printed off at 78 pages. Joe Meating of BioForest told me when they first reviewed the legislation they read it. They reread it. They referred it to other experts. They called and asked questions. They studied it. Finally they figured out that TreeAzin, their new product to combat emerald ash borer, is one of the exempt items.

Ontario’s pesticide ban is confusing and a challenging read. The public information number for the Ministry of the Environment is toll free 1-800-565-4923 and staff are available during business hours. They will mail copies of the act, the fact sheet titled “Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticides Ban: What Licensed Exterminators (Landscape Class) Need to Know,” Class 2, 3 and 4 pesticide lists and more. This information is also available online at They will answer your questions. Call often. If you are confused, tell them. Believe me, you aren’t the only one.

If you are going to use one of the exempt products for an approved purpose, you must provide written notice to all occupants of all the properties in residential areas that abut the application area. It must be provided one to seven days in advance and contain the date, pesticide to be used, application area, pest to be exterminated, name and number of the pesticide, ingredients and your contact number. You must also post warning signs. For the details of these requirements, follow the requirements listed in the pesticide licensing program:

The City of Toronto’s Experience
Aside from the issue of more paperwork, Rich Whate of Toronto’s Environmental Health Department related the city’s experience when their bylaw came into effect. Between 2004 and 2008, 3,285 complaints were received. Most of the complaints related to companies posting signs to spray. Most of the complaints also occurred in the first year with a steady decrease as the public learned to understand the signage. Of the complaints, after investigation, only 40 warnings were laid with seven charges leading to seven convictions.
Whate said, “These statistics imply there was a high compliance rate. All the charges were minor. Our legislation wasn’t heavy handed. We were fair but firm. People quickly understood. We had 40 inspectors (four were specialists.) We responded to all complaints, did random drives, patrols and arranged educational visits. The first year was almost overwhelming but it quickly became manageable.”

In Toronto, the public education portion of the legislation was considered the key to compliance. Whate said, “Our polls show that even people who use chemicals want to use less. We had to educate people to accept a more natural landscape.” It’s OK to have wildflowers in a lawn. It’s OK to have sap drip from a tree. It’s OK to have blight on an apple.”

The General Public’s Perspective
In the small survey I did of arborists, no one stated they received any customer complaints about the act. Most said customers were happy either to know fewer chemicals are being used or to know an arborist can still spray as necessary. Jim Allsop of Allmac Tree Service in Sudbury said, “You have to understand Sudbury’s tree history. First we were forested, then deforested. Then there was massive replanting. People here panic when they see an insect on their tree.”

Allsop doesn’t do any tree spraying himself but he also owns a golf course and hires employees who are licensed to spray on the greens. “I don’t pretend to be an expert on insects. Most of the time, supporting the health of the tree is enough but for extreme situations, I refer to a specialist.” Allsop says his policy of educating customers on tree health is well received. “We aerate, fertilize and prune. Those measures are usually enough.” However for extreme situations like alien insects, Allsop is quick to add, we need specialists to continue spraying to protect our green space and forestry industry and he points to the crisis in BC.

I visited a couple local reputable dealers to see what customers are saying before they find out they can hire an arborist. “Customers are complaining. We have nothing for anything from potato dust to apple scab or worms. We are getting lady bugs in for next year. We have premixed “Round-Up” but we have to tell customers it is only for use on poison ivy. They swear at us.” One manager added. “The inspector was here. She scolded us for labeling. I don’t label. I retail. She put us down. She criticized. She didn’t explain what I can and can’t sell. Then she stomped out and pulled her car out of a handicapped parking spot.” (FYI: MOE said if you meet an inspector like this call and complain.)

The manager’s voice was panicked and stressed. “Please don’t photograph my sign. Please don’t use my name. Farmers don’t overuse chemicals – they are too expensive.”

“Will your lady bugs be domestic or foreign?” I asked.”

“I don’t know anything about lady bugs,” he began to ring his hands.

“The foreign bugs bite.” My husband cheerfully contributed to the conversation. “Some people are allergic to them.” We left before the harassed man had a stroke.

The transition period is hard for retailers and consumers. I asked MOE about the education aspect of their program but although our conversation was about tree care, the education answers were about golf courses and gardens. It seems if a customer is not involved in golf course maintenance, gardening seminars or hasn’t taken the time to visit the MOE site, they aren’t getting ‘educated.’ No one said if you have a tree crisis call an arborist. I specifically asked retailers and all were surprised to learn arborists can spray to save the life of a tree. There are pamphlets at retail sites but they didn’t answer my questions on tree care.

Ken Lund, Chairman of the Plant Health Committee for the Ontario Arborists Association, agreed. In his written statement he said, “It is my opinion that the media and government have done a rather poor job of properly informing the public about the act and regulations. If you ask the average person, they will tell you that pesticides are banned, period. Many do not understand that they have options available to them or that there are exempt products and treatments. There are some fact sheets available on government websites for those who choose to search them out.”

MOE says they have 250 inspectors throughout the province with the primary goal for the first year to be education and responding to complaints of suspected non-compliance. As of August 25, 2009, 400 complaints were received. In contrast to Toronto’s experience, the majority were related to the sale of banned pesticides and/or the suspicion of using banned products by homeowners. In almost all cases, these complaints have been addressed through voluntary abatement measures with a focus on outreach and education. In two situations where non-compliance was observed, files have been referred to the Investigations and Enforcement Branch for follow up. Investigations are still underway.

How Much Responsibility Falls on The Arborist’s Shoulders?
The MOE’s website says, “Since trees are so important to protecting our climate, licensed exterminators can use conventional pesticides with the written opinion of a tree care professional that states that the use of the pesticide is necessary to protect the health of the tree. Homeowners and licensed exterminators can also buy and use biopesticides and lower risk pesticides (e.g., Btk, a biopesticide sprayed over Ontario cities for gypsy moth control) to care for trees without requiring an opinion from a tree care professional.”

Close to 400 inspections are currently planned. 1,100 retail outlets have been visited. Most were found to be compliant. Allsop (Allmac Tree Service) said: “Insecticidal soap is really the only defense residential property owners have against insects. For the rest, we (as arborists) are responsible. Responsibility is good. Using a specialist to control spraying will ensure the timing, method and delivery is correct and it should only be used for infestations. The rest is about tree health. We don’t need generalist products like diazon. We need to identify the pest and treat it specifically. People spray caterpillars then spend the summer wondering where the butterflies went.”

Another question raised is the concept of what does ‘safe’ mean? The Ontario government has in effect said that although Health Canada spent years determining that “Round Up” is safe when used at a specific dilution rate to allow saplings to grow at maximum potential without damage from weed eaters, homeowners can no longer use it for that purpose. One scientist said, “There is no science behind the Ontario government decision. It is all about getting Toronto’s votes in the next election.” A researcher expanded, “Some of the more hazardous chemicals are exempt while less toxic products are banned.”

This is an old argument in the medical community. Some say aspirin should require a prescription; others want to legalize marijuana. The term ‘safe’ is an opinion unless you follow strict guidelines like Health Canada’s policies. MOE said they developed the list in consultation with organizations like the Cancer Society. No offense to the Cancer Society – they do great work – but no disease-specific organization can make sweeping claims for overall safety.

Health Canada would only say: “To be registered in Canada, a pesticide undergoes a rigorous scientific assessment process and must meet Health Canada’s stringent standards for human health and environmental protection. Health Canada is confident that the pesticides, including lawn and garden products approved for use in Canada, will not harm people or the environment when used according to label directions. Provinces, territories and in some cases municipalities, have the authority to further restrict or prohibit pesticide use.”

Rich Whate, City of Toronto, continues to support this aspect of the legislation. “Health Canada does risk assessments. It is reassuring. But in the broader sense we don’t know everything about interactions. This legislation is an extra layer of caution.” For example, landowner A and landowner B both spray different products in a cautious and legal manner. At the same time, two kids spend their summers learning to swim and fish in the abutting stream. Over the summer, the children swallow a considerable amount of stream water, including a few mosquitoes and a tad poll or two. Since these children have the genetic potential to develop cancer, are they safe? Whate says since we can’t answer that question, Ontario is attempting to limit the risk by controlling the pesticides.

Now fast forward the fictitious story. Landowner A and B are not allowed to spray but they suffer tree infestations and both hire arborists to spray. All the information is recorded. Years later, the pesticides sprayed on the properties were shown conclusively to be carcinogens. Both kids developed cancer. Could the arborists be held liable since no one else did any spraying on the property?

The opposite extreme is worth consideration. Now look at the issue with respect to the environment. Pretend the arborists decided as small sole proprietor businesses without limited legal liability they will not use any substance on the banned lists although they are permitted as licensed arborists. There is a major insect infestation. Many trees die. Are the arborists legally or morally responsible?

As Jim Allsop said, “Responsibility is good.” But what does your lawyer and insurance company think of the risks? There must be safeguards to protect arborists.

Education is the Key
At the end of all the interviews, I still had questions with no answers. Is anyone studying to find out if there was any change in the health or numbers of pollinators because cosmetic pesticides were banned in Ontario? Is there any scientific measure of the effectiveness of the act today? Or is it true, as one person suggested, it is all about votes in Toronto? Granted, surveys and scientific studies take time – and more than one season of data – but I truly hope works are in progress.

An arborist said, “If I wrote this legislation, my goal would be to educate the public, eliminate the do-it-yourselfers and keep this province healthy and green.”

Lund said, “Although this process happened quickly, I was grateful that we were able to present our position to the authorities. This was not the case with many of the municipal pesticide bylaws. Wherever possible we tried to have input on municipal bylaws and wherever we were able to be a part of the process, we were able to influence the bylaw.”

He continued, “At Four Seasons Tree Care we have not found it difficult to comply with the new act and regulations, and so it is for many of the OCAA members I have talked to. If you are practicing the principals of plant health care, choosing least toxic approaches and have a system of documentation, the new legislation does not pose a problem. Keeping clients informed of our ability to provide their plant health care services while complying with the new laws has been a very important part of our operations ever since pesticide bans came into effect. Clients are not necessarily interested in knowing the laws, but want the confidence that we are informed and capable of handling their needs.”

Jim Allsop gets the last word, “Educate yourself and take responsibility for what you do.” Sounds like good advice to me.

IN THE INDUSTRY: Kevin Mengers, Advanced Tree Care
I am a member of the generation groomed to agonize over the environment and our footprint on it. My education included many courses on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Jack Seigel, a man who has rumored to have defied the example of the three little pigs by constructing a home of straw bales, was an incredible influence on my understanding of our environment. Many of his and other influences have developed in me a highly conservative outlook on pest control.

I am by no means an anti-pesticide fundamentalist but what I like about the provincial pesticide legislation is the heightened degree of accountability it invokes. There is greater discouragement to exercise cosmetic pest control and a increased sensitivity to tree preservation. It is important to note that the hard work of some diligent arborists prevented a blanket legislation that could have removed an important tool potentially necessary for effective tree preservation. (For those keeping track, there are a series of non-committal committed statements in that last sentence!)

If each of us sets aside our opinions on spraying and pesticides usage, I suspect we could all agree that the important advantage the provincial legislation provides is tools. Tools to treat and care for, to the best of our capabilities, the largest organisms at the epicentre of the ecosystem..

IN THE INDUSTRY: Ken Lund, Four Seasons Tree Care & Service Ltd.
I am currently acting as the Plant Health Care Committee Chairman for the Ontario Commercial Arborist Association (OCAA) and am President of Four Seasons Tree Care and Service Ltd. I was very pleased to see that the final draft of the revised Pesticide Act and Regulations addressed many of the concerns that we had discussed with representatives of the Ministry of the Environment.

Under the new act, we received an exemption for arboriculture with a few stipulations that most of us were already practicing. The new act embraces the qualifications of ISA certified arborists, registered professional foresters, arborists certified under the Apprenticeship and Certification Act, 1998, as well as those who have the equivalent and are approved by the Director. It also recognizes the importance of integrated pest management and plant health care practices. There is a change to the signage and pre-posting requirements that better informs the public when least toxic products are used.

One of the most welcome changes for practitioners has been the elimination of all the municipal pesticide bylaws. It is much easier to operate under one set of rules. Who knows? Maybe we could convince Premier McGuinty to harmonize the collage of municipal tree cutting bylaws that are springing up across the province as well….

In closing, the OCAA will be holding a Plant Health Care Seminar in the spring of 2010. The new pesticide act and regulations will be on the docket as well as a multitude of insect diseases and treatment options. Watch for details in the next issue of the Ontario Arborist.

BAN SPECIFICS: Class 9 Pesticides
What classifications can a registered arborist who has a pesticide license use?

Section 28 of O. Reg. 63/09 provides an exception to the cosmetic pesticides ban thereby allowing a person to use a Class 9 pesticide. Specifically, a person would need a landscape or forestry license to use the Class 9 commercial pesticide or if not a licensed exterminator a domestic pesticide if that person has obtained the opinion of a person who is prescribed in the regulation.

BAN SPECIFICS: All Classifications
Class 1 are manufacturing concentrates used in the manufacture of a pesticide product.

Classes 2, 3, 4 are commercial or restricted pesticides that can continue to be used by farmers and licensed exterminators for non-banned uses.

Classes 5, 6 are biopesticides still available to homeowners.

Class 7 is dual use products including “Round-up” with health exemptions, i.e. Round-up can be used to kill poison ivy.

Class 8 is banned pesticides products.

Class 9 is banned ingredients.

Class 10 lists ingredients in pesticide products. These are the only ingredients that may be used to control plants that are poisonous to the touch under the public health or safety exemption.

Class 11 lists ingredients that are biopesticdes or lower risk pesticides.

The complete listing of chemicals and ingredients is at ... icides.php

Pat Kerr is a freelance writer living in Fraserville, Ontario, Canada.

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Design and maintenance by NPC ... de_ban.php


Mission Statement
Our mission is to enhance and promote the care and benefit of trees for present and future generations in Ontario through education, research and awareness.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) enjoys a rich heritage as a scientific and educational organization with a primary mission to disseminate information and knowledge in the care and preservation of trees. The Ontario Chapter has now grown to over 650 members, while the international membership is now almost 18,000, divided into 37 chapters worldwide – the world's largest such organization. There are currently over 500 ISA Certified Arborists in Ontario and more than 24,000 worldwide.

We are involved in many major projects throughout the province including:

• Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Council of Ontario
• Ontario Horticulture Crops Research and Services Committee
• Ministry of Education and Training
• Landscape Ontario "Green" Specifications Development
• Arboreta Brochure

Our membership is diverse, from commercial, municipal, educators, students and utility arborists to landscape contractors, landscape architects and grounds managers. With this diversity comes different and sometimes conflicting points of view, all of which contribute to the strength of ISA Ontario. Central to all of this stands the tree, the focal point of our membership.

ISAO Board of Directors
President: Steve Mann
Past President: Murray Potts
President Elect: Linda Hawkins
Vice President: Jake Zink
Executive Director: TBA

Directors at Large
Heidi Breen
Laura Catalano
Andrew Hordyk
Colleen MacDonald
Mike Nash
John Ransom
Rory Quigley

To contact directors or committee chairs please contact the ISAO office by email or phone at 1-888-463-2316.
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Pesticide laws are inadequate

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:15 pm

April 30, 2010

The Fredericton Daily Gleaner

Pesticide laws are inadequate

Re: April 27 article in The Daily Gleaner

New Brunswick's pesticide ban seems inadequate when compared with Quebec and Ontario bans, where lawn care companies are also forbidden to apply lawn pesticides, except on golf courses, which must reduce their pesticide use gradually.

In Ontario, insecticides may be also applied to combat forest insect infestations.

It would seem that the pesticide industry is very powerful in the Maritimes and made sure your legislation would be largely ineffective.

Of course, the industry is quite happy that homeowners cannot apply pesticides. This means more business for them.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning and your provincial legislation will be improved gradually.

Lawns can be maintained in an excellent condition without the use of pesticides.

To achieve this:

* Mow high.

* Don't remove grass clippings.

* Add seeds of white clover.

* Topdress.

* Over seed.

K. Jean Cottam
Ottawa, Ont. ... le/1034068
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We can stay green and healthier by pushing for a pesticide b

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:15 pm

April 30, 2010

Edmonton Journal

We can stay green and healthier by pushing for a pesticide bylaw

By Scott McKeen,

Dandelions are not popular in Edmonton.

Dandelions are not popular in Edmonton.
Photograph by: Sascha Schuerman, AFP, Getty Images, File, Edmonton Journal

What if the TV commercial for the guy whistling down the street wasn't for a happy-time pill.

What if, in this commercial, he winks at his wife, walks out the door and pauses to smile at the real reason for his after-glow: His emerald-green, weed-free lawn.

And the voice-over begins: "Side effects may include neurological and development disorders, birth defects, lung disease, skin disease, leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

"Cancers of the kidney and prostate are also possible. Soil degradation is to be expected, along with toxic effects on fish, birds and insects in the local environment."

Would you buy that product? Of course not. But some of your neighbours continue to use pesticides and fertilizers like they're lawn candy.

Does anybody else think our obsession with a perfect yard, given the potential costs, is absurd?

Not only do we drain precious water resources in the effort, we spray chemicals on our lawns to create a synthetic meadow. For children and pets to play on. Nice.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of that fertilizer and pesticide drifts away into groundwater or the sewer to pollute our air, soils and river. Nice.

A local coalition of concerned citizens, called Pesticides Free Edmonton, is pushing for a civic bylaw banning all cosmetic uses of pesticides. An all-out ban is near impossible, given requirements on municipalities to control noxious weeds.

But dandelions are not considered noxious weeds. Nor should a few dandelions on a residential lawn be considered a sign of the owner's inferior moral character. Yet what do we think of homeowners with weed-infested lawn?

Pesticides Free Edmonton has joined with the Alberta Cancer Society, Alberta Lung Association and the Sierra Club to lobby for stricter pesticide controls.

Its spokesperson, Susan Cubitt, called me for help.

Cubitt says the group is struggling to get its message heard.

Well, theirs is a message that should be heard -- over and over.

Edmonton bills itself as one of the greenest cities in North America.

Yet it is one of a dwindling number of cities in Canada without a pesticide bylaw.

Oh, there's been progress. First, the City of Edmonton has reduced its pesticide use year after year. Less than 10 per cent of its turf inventory is now sprayed.

And there are now about 50 green spaces in town -- listed on the city website -- that are pesticide-free.

The city is also doing trials of biological weed-killers.

Yet, the move to a pesticide bylaw has been resisted over the years. Coun. Don Iveson, whose portfolio includes the environment, has a meeting in early May with city staff to talk about the issue. Iveson says he'll find out then just how open the civil service is to a ban on cosmetic uses.

I suspect city staff's attitudes mirror those of citizens. Dandelions blooming on a city boulevard are guaranteed to generate calls of complaint to City Hall.

Not just because some people find it unsightly. But also because they worry about dandelions spreading to their perfect yards.

The fact is that the city's use of pesticides pales in comparison to residential use. Edmontonians are hooked on pesticides.

But if the responsibility on the issue begins with citizens, it still ends with city council.

Studies show that pesticide policies and education programs work to a point. But bylaws are by far the most effective in reducing overall use.

Concerned citizens can ask for a bylaw. Better yet, demand it of their politicians. It's an election year, so they're all ears.

Meanwhile, we can do our part by replacing pesticides and even chemical fertilizers with green practices and products.

The Internet is full of information on how to do it. Libraries, too.

Earth's General Store, for one, has books as well as biological alternatives to pesticides.

Yard work for urbanites is a way to connect, in a small but tangible way, with nature.

But imagine the feeling of looking out at your yard, knowing that you did it all without damaging air, soil or water. No birds or bees were harmed. No one's health was threatened.

You might feel so uplifted you won't even need the happy-time pill.
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

Dandelions are not popular in Edmonton.
Photograph by: Sascha Schuerman, AFP, Getty Images, File, Edmonton Journal ... story.html
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Re: Munipal Pesticide Debates

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:17 pm

HortWest Magazine - March 2010
Surviving a pesticide ban: The Ontario experience for Technical Information/Technical for Urban landscapes/CropHealthcom-TechnicalInfo-2010-PesticideUseCosmetic OntarioExperience %28BCLNA magazine%29.pdf

HortWest Magazine - February 2010
Features of municipal pesticide bylaws for Technical Information/Technical for Urban landscapes/CropHealthcom-TechnicalInfo-2010-PesticideBylaws %28HortWest BCLNA%29.pdf ... scapes.htm
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Nanaimo pesticide ban to follow one year of education

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:27 pm

April 28, 2010

Nanaimo News Bulletin

Nanaimo pesticide ban to follow one year of education

By Toby Gorman - Nanaimo News Bulletin

Nanaimo residents will have to find an alternative to using chemicals for greener lawns and brighter flowers after city council officially banned the use of non-essential pesticides Monday.

The ban will take effect April 2011, after a one-year program to educate the public about what non-essential pesticides are and what alternatives can be used.

Coun. Jim Kipp, chairman of the city’s environment committee, said reducing the amount of chemicals running into waterways is a positive step in creating a healthier environment.

“I believe in Nanaimo every piece of property is a waterfront property,” said Kipp. “You have a storm drain in front of your house with that lawn that is a beautiful green with all those chemicals running off it, it all ends up in our watershed. [This bylaw] will take away that quick fix and make people use a more harmonious, natural method of dealing with their lawns.”

Nanaimo follows 29 other B.C. municipalities that have already banned non-essential pesticides. The province of Ontario banned them outright.

For the last several years, Nanaimo’s parks staff have used cosmetic pesticides only as a last resort as a result of the Integrated Pest Management approach taken in managing its gardens and fields.

The bylaw includes a six-month monitoring period once the law is enacted to provide the city with an opportunity to make amendments.

City manager Al Kenning said there is also a possibility that taxpayers could be on the hook for an additional bylaw officer to enforce the law if it is discovered residents continue to use cosmetic pesticides after the law takes effect.

Because there is no provincial ban, retailers are still free to sell cosmetic pesticides – chemicals that are used for controlling plants and insects in lawns and gardens to enhance appearance for non-essential reasons. Herbicides, insecticides and fungicides are all included in the definition.

Coun. Bill Holdom said the bylaw doesn’t prohibit residents from contacting authorized pesticide applicators to determine if a pest or plant problem requires chemicals.

“If it’s a cosmetic issue the applicator will say, ‘I can’t do that, nobody can,’ but if there is a serious problem, say an ant infestation and your house could fall down, then obviously that is no longer cosmetic. There is nothing prohibiting pesticides to deal with a serious problem.”

A 2008 Ipsos Reid poll found that 80 per cent of Nanaimo residents favoured a ban on cosmetic pesticides, while 82 per cent had concerns over health impacts. Eighty per cent said they would consider alternative methods for lawn and garden beautification.
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Pesticide restriction too narrow, woman says

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:35 pm

Tuesday April 27th, 2010

Fredericton Daily Gleaner

Pesticide restriction too narrow, woman says


Merlene Crawford poses with her dog Sousa on her pesticide-free lawn of her home in Oromocto. She says the provincial government’s pesticide restriction doesn’t go far enough to protect animals and people.

The Oromocto resident and environmental activist wants the public to stop using chemicals on lawns and gardens and to support more environmentally friendly ways of fighting bugs and weeds.

But Crawford doesn't believe the situation will improve until government takes a harsher stance on the issue.

A restriction on lawn pesticides imposed by the provincial government this year doesn't crack down hard enough on those using pesticides, she said.

"It's a law with no teeth," Crawford said. "It doesn't apply to anyone but homeowners, and even for those people who ignore the new restrictions, there's not really any consequences. What good does it really do? It's superficial."

Environment Minister Rick Miles held a news conference at Wilmot Park recently to remind homeowners that the sale and use of more than 240 over-the-counter lawn care pesticides and the use of all 2,4-D products on residential lawns have been outlawed.

He said New Brunswick is the first province in Atlantic Canada to adopt a "comprehensive product ban on lawn care pesticides."

Crawford said she agrees with the ban on 2,4-D products, but the other restrictions don't go far enough.

Golf courses are exempt from the 2,4-D ban, the regulations don't apply to forestry and agriculture operations and there's no program in place for to enforce the law, she said.

"Homeowners can still spot-treat weeks or hire lawn-care companies to spray their yards," she said.

"So the difference is before people could spread pesticides themselves and now they have to hire someone."

Crawford said she's disgusted the law doesn't apply to parks, sports fields, school yards or hospital grounds.

"I get what the government is trying to do, and I admit it's a good step that they are at least trying to move in the right direction, but these restrictions don't do much of anything," she said.

"It doesn't change that fact that many grassy surfaces aren't safe for children to roll and play in or dogs to walk and sniff in. It doesn't change that fact that we're polluting parks and hospitals and golf courses with things that can make a person sick."

David Coon, executive director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, said the province needs a complete ban, not a partial one.

"(The new restriction) hasn't solved the problem of eliminating this as a health risk for people living in urban areas where it is used extensively," Coon said in an earlier interview.

"We worked with the cancer society and the New Brunswick Lung Association to try and convince government to bring in a comprehensive ban, and they took this fairly significant step forward, but they held back on going for the complete ban."

Liz Smith, director of public education for the New Brunswick Lung Association, said what the province needs is a shift in focus from using pesticides to environmentally friendly and healthy ways to care for lawns and gardens.

"Instead of having a political fight about whether or not what the government is doing is enough, what we need to do is to talk about what New Brunswickers can do to treat their lawns and gardens without pesticides and give them the tools and knowledge to do that," Smith said.

"There are so many things you can do with your backyard that really help a lot of environmental problems and that can contribute to a creating a healthy environment for us to live in."

Smith said she believes restrictions are needed, but until that happens, the public needs to be educated about how to have a healthy yard without harmful chemicals.

"Dandelions, for example, are one thing that people spray for, but in my yard all I had to do was throw some lime pellets around, some hearty compost and top-seeded with a variety of grasses, and my grass is so thick I have a hard time cutting it. Healthy turf chokes out weeds," she said.

"When you're not spraying to kill the bugs you consider to be pests, you allow beneficial microorganisms to live and they can break down grass clippings and organic matter, provide natural nitrate and naturally aerate the soil, which will all contribute to having a healthy, beautiful lawn."

Crawford agrees that a focus on how to maintain a nice lawn without pesticides is important, but it's not enough.

"It's impossible to educate those who refuse to be educated or those who are ineducable," she said.

"I know people who have stockpiled pesticides that are now banned because they knew the ban was coming. It's for people that like that that we need tougher restrictions and an enforcement system so they think twice about using cancer-causing agents for the sake of having a weed-free lawn."

With files from reporter Stephen Llewellyn

Merlene Crawford is tired of having to be careful where she allows her dog to walk and play.
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Re: Munipal Pesticide Debates

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:36 pm

April 27, 2010

Regina Leader-Post

By Joe Couture

Council also approved the designation of three park spaces -- city hall grounds, Gordon Park and Al Pickard Park -- as pesticide-free for 2010, with pesticides being defined as including herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides and fungicides.

At a meeting last week, the city's executive committee did not recommend that the spaces be designated. But at Monday's council meeting, those same committee members said they were now satisfied having received more information.

"The issue is, of course, looking at the consequences of going pesticide-free in three of the city-owned parks," Fiacco said.

"The administration have come forward with three parks they believe will not see a negative impact. I think it's a great opportunity to show the rest of the country that, in Regina, we'll be one of the first municipalities in Saskatchewan that will lead the way in having three parks that will indeed be pesticide-free." ... story.html

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