Canada’s Ontario Premier Calls for Ban of Cosmetic Pesticide Use



(Beyond Pesticides, September 27, 2007)

In a call for sweeping reform in Canada, the Ontario Liberal Party, lead by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, has called for the banning ban of all cosmetic use of pesticides across the province as part of their commitment to healthier Ontario families. Twenty five municipalities, covering about 30 per cent of the province, have already introduced local bans or restrictions on the cosmetic use of pesticides, those typically used on lawns and landscapes. Just as the Ontario Liberals replaced a patchwork of local bylaws when they banned smoking provincewide, this new pesticide and herbicide ban would create a single, comprehensive law for all Ontario communities. “There is growing concern about the potential harmful effects of these products on human health,” Mr. McGuinty said. “When there is such widespread concern, why would we take a chance with our health, and our children’s health, just for the sake of a few dandelions, or a bit of crabgrass?”

The Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Ontario Public Health Association have all expressed concerns about the cosmetic use of pesticides and the potential to cause harm.

The Premier met with Dr. Trish Van Boekel and Dr. Kristen Blaine in Stratford, Ontario. They started a petition among physicians calling for a ban on pesticides in parks and on lawns and gardens here in Stratford. “I wanted to bring these physicians and Dalton together because they share a concern for families’ health, and especially children’s health,” John Wilkinson, Liberal candidate for Perth-Wellington, said.

“A provincewide ban is an important step that makes a lot of sense,” Mr. Wilkinson said. “Just as Ontario Liberals successfully banned smoking in public places in Ontario, we’ll also protect Ontario families by banning these chemicals in each and every community.”

The ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides will focus on towns and cities. Farmers and managed forests will be exempt as they are already governed by strict rules for pesticide use.

“We are committed to public health, protecting our shared environment and protecting the public interest,” Mr. McGuinty said.

“Our campaign is about positive ideas that will help families, and this ban is one of them.”

See Backgrounder.

For more information:  Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, 416 961-3800 Ext. 386