It’s time for B.C. to join Ontario and Nova Scotia as the best at protecting citizens from harmful cosmetic pesticides according to the David Suzuki Foundation and Equiterre. In a new report released by the groups, Ontario and Nova Scotia have the most effective bans in the country, whereas B.C. does not currently have a ban, so it doesn’t appear in the ranking.
“It’s encouraging that Premier Christy Clark has confirmed her support for a province-wide ban on lawn and garden pesticides,” says David Suzuki Foundation CEO Peter Robinson. “There’s no reason for further delay. The B.C. government should pass legislation by the end of this year, drawing on the experience of Ontario and Nova Scotia.”
Lisa Gue is the Environmental Health Policy Analyst for the David Suzuki Foundation. She too sees the potential for a ban to be passed.
“We are seeing encouraging signs here. Of course the premier a couple of weeks ago confirmed her support for a cosmetic pesticide ban in B.C. We have been looking for action on this file for sometime in B.C. and are hoping that with the premier’s announcement we will see action sooner than later,” Gue said.
“Quebec was the first province to ban lawn pesticides, but it can no longer claim to be the gold standard,” says Sideny Ribaux from Equiterre, a leading environmental organization in Quebec. “B.C. has the opportunity to raise the bar again by improving on the best models developed to date.”
Gue felt it was important that B.C. could now look at and follow the lead of other provinces.
“These bans are becoming the norm. Even in B.C. now a few dozen municipalities have adopted by-laws restricting the use of cosmetic pesticides,” Gue said. “Municipalities have led the way on this issue,” she added.
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald put forward a similar sentiment two weeks ago.
“Communities like the District of Invermere led the way in banning cosmetic pesticides but have always stated that a province-wide ban was also needed. Individual communities are providing all the leadership that… but municipal by-laws can only provide a patchwork. Only the province can provide the needed legislative consistency that will protect all British Columbians from exposure to unnecessary chemicals and pesticides,” Macdonald said.