BC New Democrats have again introduced legislation that will adopt a position widely held by Kootenay communities by banning the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. The Cosmetic Pesticide and Carcinogen Control Act, 2011, will provide local communities with the support they have requested in getting harmful chemicals off store shelves, according to Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.
“I think the education of politicians through many community groups has been very effective. The leadership on the issue that has come from local governments, like Invermere, have always been very clear that for this to be effective the province needed to participate,” Macdonald said. “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 they can, 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.”
He added that this is not the first time that this type of act has been introduced, but what is different is that Premier Christy Clark has suggested that she supports the measure. It is Macdonald’s hope that this act will move swiftly through the readings and be in effect as soon as possible. “The Opposition has put forward this legislation on two previous occasions, but the BC Liberals have simply ignored it. Premier Clark claims that she supports a ban on cosmetic pesticides, so now it is time for her to put her support into action. It’s time to pass the Opposition’s Cosmetic Pesticide Control Act.”
The act says that part of the goal for the provincial government is the development and execution of an ongoing public education and awareness-raising programs providing information to the public on why restrictions exist on the sale and use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes, including health and environmental impacts of use.
Macdonald also gave credit to groups like the Canadian Cancer Society who have, in his opinion, provided a great deal of information about the products in question.
“It is because of the hard work and commitment of local activists and the Canadian Cancer Society that local communities have been able to take this important step.”