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Pesticides have been found in drinking water throughout North America, in mother’s breast milk and in the bodies of Americans and Canadians. The City of Ottawa has recently found pesticides in the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers. Your tap water may contain pesticides.
The term “pesticide” refers to substances designed to kill ‘pests’ whether they be plant, insect, or fungus. Environmental and health experts agree that some common lawn and garden pesticides harm our health and environment. Children are especially vulnerable to health impacts of pesticides.
Cosmetic pesticides – those chemicals used to control pests in outdoor spaces like lawns and gardens – are unsafe and unnecessary for the maintenance of green and healthy greenspace. With current regulations, it is virtually impossible to avoid exposure to these chemicals. Pesticides do not remain on the property where they are sprayed. With rain and snowmelt, erosion and aerial spraying these chemicals eventually end up in our sewers, rivers and wells.
Cosmetic pesticides are unnecessary. Healthy, disease-resistant lawns and gardens are possible through chemical-free horticultural methods. A growing sector of pesticide-free lawn care and landscaping companies provides opportunities for workers and industries interested in phasing-out chemicals.
Pesticides are regulated by both the federal and provincial governments. All pesticides imported into, sold or used in Canada are regulated nationally under the federal Pest Control Products (PCP) Act. Ontario Regulation 914 is the current General Regulation under the Pesticides Act. Regulation 914 and the Pesticides Act provide the province’s regulatory framework for pesticide management. The Ministry of the Environment, through the legislation, regulates the sale, use, transportation, storage and disposal of pesticides. The ministry issues pesticide applicator, operator and vendor licences. The ministry monitors compliance and enforces the regulation. Mainly through education and training, the ministry provides direction on the responsible use of pesticides and encourages and promotes reduced reliance on pesticides.
On April 22, 2008, the Ontario Government introduced an amendment to the Pesticides Act – The Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, 2008 (formerly Bill 64). The Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 was passed in the Ontario Legislature on June 18, 2008. The Act amends the Pesticides Act to prohibit the use and sale of pesticides that may be used for cosmetic purposes. The Act provides exceptions for agriculture, forestry, health or safety, and golf courses if certain conditions are met. The ban is part of the government’s toxics reduction plan in Ontario.
It is anticipated that the province-wide ban would take effect as early as spring 2009, once the regulation that makes the ban effective is in place. Once the ban comes into effect, it will take the place of existing by-laws. Certain municipal by-laws could remain in operation if they are required under an Act and specified in regulation.
Senior Policy Advisor
Ministry of the Environment
Strategic Policy Branch
135 St. Clair Ave. W., 11th Floor
Toronto, ON M4V 1P5
Draft Regulation http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/land/pesticides/Draft-Regulation.pdf
Ministry Factsheet http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/land/pesticides/Factsheet-pesticides.pdf
More information on Banning Pesticides http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/land/pesticides/index.php
The City of Ottawa is seeking a municipal bylaw that would include public education programs and phased-in prohibitions of cosmetic pesticides on private property. Ottawa Riverkeeper supports by-laws to phase out the use of cosmetic pesticides everywhere in the Ottawa River Watershed.
Currently, the following municipalities within the Ottawa River Watershed have adopted pesticide by-laws that do not allow the cosmetic use of pesticides in their community: Chelsea (QC), Mont-Tremblant (QC) and Perth (ON). Deep River (ON) has recently “announced”:/news/town_of_deep_river_agrees_to_draft_pesticide_bylaw that they are in the first stages of drafting a pesticide by-law.
Ottawa Riverkeeper urges the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau to follow the lead of other major cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and implement by-laws to reduce our exposure to pesticides.
For an extensive list of websites that provide information about pesticide use, impacts, by-laws and tips on organic lawn care, “click here”:http://pesticidereform.ca/envwebsites.htm.
Here are the latest postings related to pesticide reduction in the Ottawa Watershed: