Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reducing Urban Pesticide Use Through Legislation and Education...

Ottawa lags while 15 more municipalities lead with pesticide bylaws in2008
Case Western Reserve University environmental history professor TedSteinberg and author of "American Green: The Obsessive Quest for thePerfect Lawn," said there is "an anti-perfect lawn revolution underway in Canada. "
As of December 31, 2008, there are 152 pesticide by-laws acrossCanada, with Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouverleading the way. Calgary also has a draft pesticide bylaw on thebooks. There are over 15.4 million Canadians, or 48.9% of Canada'stotal population (based on the 2006 Census), benefiting from enhancedprotection from unwanted exposure to synthetic lawn and gardenpesticides. On November 17, 2008, the City of Thunder Bay became #152to adopt a pesticide bay in Canada (and #35 in Ontario) with unanimoussupport from city council. For a complete listing of all pesticidebylaws go to
In Ontario the number of municipalities that have adopted privateproperty pesticide bylaws has increased by seven to thirty-five (35)despite pending implementation of the province-wide pesticide ban.Meanwhile Ottawa continues to sit in the back of the bus and letothers lead. Ottawa's image as a community health prevention leaderhas totally tanked on this specific issue.
Those from outside of Ottawa seem to agree that Ottawa City Council iscertainly not leading the pack on pesticides. Halifax Councillor, BobHarvey offered the following comment in a CBC interview with RitaCelli on October 27, 2005 about Ottawa's failed attempt to adopt apesticide by-law: "Well I was surprised and dismayed by that. I didn'trealize until today. I'd assume that five years after we went throughthis debate and discussion that, you know, enlightenment would havespread to the nation's capital."
A headline in The News EMC (Ottawa West) on September 27, 2007 read:'Suzuki lambastes Ottawa on pesticides. Says mayor 'so ignorant hedoesn't know he's ignorant'. The headline referred to the fact thatOttawa City Council has yet to follow in the footsteps of more than100 other Canadian cities that have banned cosmetic pesticide use andDavid Suzuki's response, having meet with Mr. O'Brien to discuss thisissue, to an audience of over 1000 attending the Canadian PublicHealth Association annual conference in Ottawa.
Dr. Robin Walker, former Medical Director of Critical Care at theChildren's Hospital of Eastern Ontario had this to say about Ottawa'sfumbling on pesticides: "City Council accepted industry propagandaover medical science and once again abrogated their responsibility toprotect the health of all the citizens of Ottawa. The majority of ourCity Council today chose political expediency over what is right forthe community, and put lawns at the top of their priorities and kidsat the bottom."
Here is what other medical doctors & hospitals in Ottawa have saidabout unwanted pesticide exposure:
"Better information on the medical effects of pesticides was becomingavailable, and by the summer of 2005, Ottawa's Medical Officer ofHealth decided to formally recommend a by-law prohibiting the non-essential use of pesticides. The Medical Officer of Health had reachedthe conclusion that the evidence linking pesticides with serioushealth problems for children, pregnant women, seniors and othervulnerable residents, had crossed the threshold to warrant strongeraction than education alone. Many health experts, including the Boardof the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Dr. Jack Kitts - ChiefExecutive Officer of The Ottawa Hospital, Dr. Hartley S. Stern - VicePresident, The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Clinic, and the OntarioCollege of Family Physicians, had reached the same conclusion."
O'Brien was quoted in the Ottawa Sun on December 1, 2007 saying "I'dsupport that," in reference to banning smoking in cars with kids. Thearticle by Susan Sherring stated that "he believes there's a role toplay in protecting those who can't protect themselves."
"The perfect American lawn is going through a volatile period in itshistory," said Case Western Reserve University environmental historyprofessor Ted Steinberg of Shaker Heights. "Of course, I'm the guy whothinks any lawn maintenance is a waste of time."
Steinberg, author of "American Green: The Obsessive Quest for thePerfect Lawn," said there is "an anti-perfect lawn revolution underway in Canada. " He said more than 120 cities there have enactedlimits on the use of pesticides on yards, for example.
He said low-mow lawns are part of that larger movement away fromchemically supported and perfect-looking lawns.
(Source: January 01, 2008, The Plain Dealer, Low-grow (even no-mow)lawns tested by city, by Michael Scott,216-999-4148 )
CHO News Flashes from 2008
TIME: 10:40 PM
PRESENT: OFFICIALS:Councillor I. AngusCouncillor M. BentzCouncillor A. FouldsCouncillor R. JohnsonCouncillor B. McKinnonCouncillor F. PulliaCouncillor A. RubertoCouncillor L. RydholmCouncillor R. TuchenhagenCouncillor J. Virdiramo Mr. J. Hannam, City ClerkMr. T. Commisso, City ManagerMr. G. Alexander, General Manager - Community ServicesMs. C. Busch, City Treasurer and General Manager - FinanceMr. A. Fydirchuk, General Manager - Facilities and FleetMr. B. Herman, Chief of PoliceMr. D. Matson, General Manager - Transportation and WorksMr. M. Smith, General Manager - Development ServicesMs. L. Dack, SolicitorMs. T. Larocque, Committee Coordinator The Forty-First Meeting of the Thirty-Ninth Thunder Bay CityCouncil was held with Acting Mayor, Iain Angus.
6. A By-law to restrict the use of pesticides within the City ofThunder Bay.Explanation: The purpose of this by-law is to restrict the use ofpesticides within the City of Thunder Bay. Section 130 of theMunicipal Act, 2001 authorizes Ontario municipalities to enact bylawswhich provide for the protection of the “health, safety and well-being” of their residents. The Council has heard from Thunder Bayresidents who expressed concern about the health risks associated withthe use of pesticides. Regulating the non-essential use of pesticidesconforms to the precautionary principle as found in the CorporatePolicy entitled “Environment/Community Sustainability”, approved bythe Council in 2005.Authorization: Committee of the Whole - October 6, 2008
BY-LAW NUMBER: 119 - 2008
August 19, 2008
Reducing Urban Pesticide Use Through Legislation and Education:A Case Study of Toronto’s Pesticide Bylaw
Program Description
The City of Toronto passed a Pesticide Bylaw (Municipal Code 612) in2003 that restricts the non-essential use of pesticides on all publicand private property in the city. Toronto Public Health coordinates anextensive education and phased-in enforcement program, which costs$450,000 per year. The bylaw came into effect in 2004 and enforcementwas fully phased in by September 1, 2007. Since the bylaw came intoeffect, fewer homeowners report using lawn and garden pesticides andmore are choosing natural alternatives.
Growing scientific evidence indicates that exposure to common lawn andgarden pesticides (which include weed and insect killers) can harmhuman health. In the past decade, Canadian municipalities have begunto pass bylaws restricting the use of pesticides within theirboundaries. As of August 2008, there are 146 such bylaws acrossCanada. This municipal action has in turn motivated Qu├ębec to pass aprovince-wide ban on the sale and use of certain pesticides andOntario to propose similar restrictions.
Toronto passed its Pesticide Bylaw to protect the health of itsresidents from exposure to pesticides. Toronto Public Healthconducted research into the health impacts of pesticides and consultedextensively with residents, businesses, health and environmentalorganizations and other stakeholders. Ongoing support from the Boardof Health, residents and health organizations has been key to passingand successfully implementing the bylaw. Toronto Public Healthmaintained open communication with lawn care companies to addresstheir strong concerns about the bylaw, successfully defended a legalchallenge from pesticide manufacturers, and provided educationalresources to homeowners to help them replace pesticides with naturallawn and garden care.
The Pesticide Bylaw has shown promising signs of behaviour changeregarding the use of pesticides in Toronto. Evidence shows that:
• Fewer people are using pesticides. In 2005, 35 per cent fewerToronto households reporting any use of pesticides on their lawns, ascompared with 2003. This reduction occurred prior to full enforcementof the bylaw, and further surveys indicate continuing reductions inpesticide use.
• Natural alternatives to pesticides are growing in popularity. Anincreasing number of households report that they or their lawn carecompanies are using lower-risk pesticides and/or more naturalalternatives.
• Lawn care companies are doing well in Toronto. Between 2001 and2006, Toronto saw a 30 per cent increase in the number of lawn careand landscaping businesses, which is consistent with growth in theGreater Toronto Area and across Ontario. In addition, a consistentproportion of Toronto households continue to rely on the services oflawn care companies.
Toronto Public Health received a 2008 Public Sector Quality Award forits implementation of the Pesticide Bylaw.
Public Education Resources – Advertising and Print Resources
• Bugs Ad
• Relax Ad
• Weed_Ad
For More Information Visit:
Carol MeeSupervisor, Environmental Education and InformationToronto Public Health – Environmental Protection Officecmee@toronto.ca416-338-8098
Rich WhateHealth Promotion ConsultantToronto Public Health – Environmental Protection Officerwhate@toronto.ca416-338-8100
Dylan DampierPublic Health Inspector and Lead, Pesticide Bylaw EnforcementToronto Public Health – Healthy Environmentsddampie@toronto.ca416-338-1500
Spring 2006
Ontario Branch News
Published quarterly by the Canadian Institute of Public HealthInspectors—Ontario Branch Inc.
From Conception to Enforcement: Pesticide By-laws
By Dylan Dampier, B.A.Sc., CPHI ( C )
The idea of a pesticide by-law is a contentious and emotionallycharged issue regardless of which side of the fence you are on. Moreand more cities across Canada are adopting pesticide by-laws. Recentstudies show associations between pesticide exposures and negativehealth effects.
This article is intended to provide a brief reasoning for enacting amunicipal by-law and a detailed enforcement plan.
The most common argument around the pesticide by-law issue is thatlegislation dealing with the safe use of pesticides already exists.(This was the basis of an unsuccessful legal challenge). The PestManagement Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is a branch of Health Canada thatapproves pesticides for use. The efficacy and safety must be provenbefore approvals are granted. At the Provincial level, the Ministryof the Environment enforces the Pesticides Act that deals with thelicensing and use of pesticides as well as the Pesticides Product Actwhich lists all the pesticides that are available for use in Ontario.A more restrictive municipal By-Law can address the uncertaintysurrounding the safety of pesticides.
The Ontario College of Family Physicians conducted a comprehensiveliterature review on all types of human health effects from pesticidesexposures. Some of the different areas reviewed include: solidtumors, non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, genotoxicity,immunotoxicity, dermatological effects, chronic neurological andmental health effects, reproductive outcomes, and effects onchildren. One of their recommendations was toavoid pesticide exposures wherever possible. More recently theCanadian Pediatric Society stated that "2,4-D can be persuasivelylinked to cancers, neurological impairment and reproductiveproblems". 2,4-D is one of the most common herbicides used on lawns.Lessons learned from previous environmental problems (e.g. DDT) teachus that precaution is the best approach.
Pesticide by-laws should address the cosmetic use of pesticides,reducing exposure not only to individuals but also to pets and theenvironment. When safer alternative controls exist (corn gluten meal,acetic acid, biological pesticides, pyrethrum, horticulturaloil, to name a few) why would anyone take a chance?
The public may not be aware of the alternative approaches and/orsafer products. For a pesticide by-law to be effective a strongeducational campaign is essential. The alternatives to traditionalpesticide use (organic lawn care, plant health care, integrated pestmanagement, alternative ground covers, native plants, and ecologicalrestoration) and components of an education campaign are beyond scopeof this article, there are numerous resources available that aredevoted to these subjects. Information that is notas easily obtained is an enforcement process for a pesticide by-law.
If your health unit is looking at implementing a pesticide by-law andwould like information on how to enforce it the following is a usefulapproach.
A complaint driven by-law would be initiated by a witness statementfrom the complainant. This would be followed by an on site visit andinterview with the homeowner. Interviews with the landscapeexterminator are useful, especially if the by-law contains exemptionsfor infestations. Service receipts will have the name, address, andlocation of the application along with any monitoring done, todeterminethe presence of an infestation.
Where a clear violation exists one of the key pieces of evidence isthe pesticide warning notice. These notices are required underprovincial legislation (Pesticides Act) to be posted at the site of alandscape extermination. The notice is required to contain specificinformation including: the date of application, the name of theproduct used, the pest itwas used to control, and a number where more information canobtained. The notice only has to be posted for 48 hours so a quickresponse is essential if photographic evidence is to be gathered(front and back of the notice have pertinent information).
If the sign has been removed or was never posted, soil samples forinsecticides and vegetative samples for herbicides can be collected.Ensure that the sample is collected from the city portion (roadallowance) of the property. The procedure for collectingsoil samples is quite involved and requires specialized training(Toronto staff received training from the Ministry of the EnvironmentPhytotoxicology Department) and specialized equipment (soil corers,gloves, sample jars, laboratory detergent, acetone and hexane). Whensubmitting a soil sample it is important to retain the services of anaccredited laboratory and to specify which chemical family you wish totest for (e.g. phenoxy acid herbicides, carbamateinsecticides ...etc.). Expect to pay between $100 and $130 per sampleper chemical family.
Samples confirm the presence of a pesticide at specific location. Itis recommended that samples be taken even when warning notices arepresent to counter arguments that the sign was placed from anotherlocation.
This approach was used successfully in September of 2005 where threecharges were laid under the City of Toronto Pesticide By-law andconvictions were registered. Fines totaled $750 and a prohibitionorder from the court was issued to the operator.
1) Nematodes are microscopic round worms that can be used to controlgrubs in lawns.
2) Acetic Acid (Horticultural vinegar) can be use to control weeds onsidewalk and driveways.
3) Horticultural oil can be used to control scale insects on trees.
4) Corn Gluten Meal acts as a fertilizer and prevents the germinationof dandelion and crab grass seeds.
5) BT is a bacterium that can control mosquito larvae and caterpillars(e.g. Gypsy Moths)
Dylan Dampier is also a Pest Control Technician, Integrated PestManagement Agent and a Licensed Structural Exterminator.
12 Nov 2008
The Londoner
The 'new' city lawn: Green it is, grass it isn'tLondoners are finding new ways to create ‘green’ space at home
Corey Morningstar’s bungalow has something not many Londoners yet have– but a lot more soon will if this trend continues.
Where most homeowners have a front lawn, her house in south London hasa flower garden.
The president of the London chapter of the Council of Canadians and amember of the city’s advisory committee on the environment, Mrs.Morningstar has spent the past eight years naturalizing her yard andthe boulevards around her property.
She’s not alone. In every part of the city now you can find homeswhere the lawn has been ripped up and replaced by flowers, trees –even green-coloured carpet.
“The concept of how people deal with their yard has been in evolutionover the past 10 years,” says Pat Donnelly, urban watershed programmanager for the City of London and a knowledgeable naturalist himself.
“We’re in a mind shift with our new pesticide bylaw (a ban which comesinto effect this September). It’s time to start asking what are weeds.When you get to the public vs. private space it’s differentperspectives by different users. Naturalization is a broad tern and itmeans different things to different groups.”
The more official term is xeriscape (zeer-eh-scape) from the Greekword xeri for dry, needing little water, and scape meaning vista orview. Xeriscaping embodies the principles of water conservationthrough creative and appropriate naturalized landscaping, and resultsin reduced maintenance times and costs.
It’s a process that’s not yet quite a trend, according to Jan Buttswith Erick's Horticultural Service Ltd. in Komoka, but “a lot ofpeople are doing more naturalized areas and homeowners are doing theboulevard areas. With the pesticide ban you'll see a lot more ofthat.”
The London Community Resource Centre recently announced the growth ofits Community Garden Network by the addition of four new communitygarden sites. There's the City Farming project, a small enterprisethat mentors Londoners to reclaim their capacity to grow food, wheremembers can learn how to grow organically as their time allows whilethe Thames Talbot Land Trust in an effort to ecologically restoreLondon’s Meadowlily Nature Preserve are collecting seeds of nativetrees to sow at the site.
The Council of Canadians has asked the environment advisory committeeto endorse a recommendation on the naturalization of London'sboulevards, an initiative that London’s parks operations department iscurrently exploring.
If the concept proves a success, it will eventually see Londonboulevards and medians planted with native plant species other thangrass.
“At Reg Cooper Square we’ve planted a wildflower garden and its beengetting a lot of attention,” Mr. Donnelly says. “For the longest timeit looked like weeds but now that these native plants are floweringit's quite nice.Native, meaning of the local area, has all kinds ofbenefits because they’ll do well in our climate. From a storm watermanagement and carbon dioxide control perspective, the benefits arethere.”
Dianna Clarke, the city’s manager of parks operations, oversees theproject.
“It really was a trial to start educating with the pesticide bylawcoming,” she says. “We’ve been naturalizing park spaces for a numberof years. We’re trying to get away from cutting grass. This year 10park areas were naturalized. From an operational perspective we’reworking with the planning department to see how the park ‘lives’ andwhere the naturalized areas the public wants can be located. You don’thave to get stuck in the old concept of a park. The city has also goneto a 2.5 to three inch cut for our grass areas because it’s healthier.The other aspect is to allow your yard to go dormant during the summer– it will come back.”
It’s an ideology to which the city and its staff are committed.
“We want Londoners to know that our future depends on it. Greening thefestivals, naturalizing parks and community gardens are all moving inthe same direction. That’s the drive behind Communities in Bloom’sNeighbour-to-Neighbour program. We’ve recently done three majorplantings along sound barrier walls. It also cuts back on our need toclean graffiti,” Ms. Clarke says.
“Veteran's Memorial Parkway is an example of our mind shift. It’s ameadow mix and it was planted to never be cut. It’s a much harder areato maintain so we didn't want to cut those blocks so we planteddifferently. It was a way to address maintenance issues and naturalizethe area.”
Rose White co-founded of the City Farming Project three years agoalong with Kathleen McCully to, “prove that we could grow our own foodand that it could be beautiful, profitable and healthy for thoseparticipating,” Ms. White says. “We started at this project with theproperty owner who’s been fighting the Bradley St. extension for 10years. This is a farm where farmers came to learn before theirexperiments with agriculture at the University of Guelph. Our secondsite is at Meadowlily and they want to put a Wal-Mart there.”
The group currently has the two teaching gardens and six back yardgardens where participants support each other.
“This is a collective and we sell to restaurants and they compost backto us so were working toward self-sufficiency and are operating as anon-profit. If we can't make it independently, how can the land. It’sall very expensive to do and if it wasn't for caring Londoners thiswouldn't have happened,” Ms. White says.
Then there are individual Londoners like Sonja Foster. She’s turnedhalf of her backyard into a vegetable garden with lush flowerbeds inevery direction. In some areas, vegetables and flowers are mixes forboth beauty and function.
“I came from Chile in 1989 and to London in 1990 to the home I’m innow, where the yard was originally bush and ground cover. When youhave a large garden like this you can move plants in the spring orfall and build new beds,” Mrs. Foster says.
After five car accidents, none caused by her, she’s turned to organicgardening to maintain her health, having also developed fibromyalgiafrom the ordeals, and her family’s heath as well as a way to stayactive. Her yard has become a sanctuary of birds and frogs that, alongwith the fish in her pond, keep the mosquitoes at bay.
“For a garden person you have to think what you want, the impact orprivacy or for attracting wildlife like birds or butterflies. My pointis to make an environment to relax in. The main thing about having agarden is to enjoy its sights and smells. It's an entire ecosystem.It’s hard work to remove the grass because it’s all organic you don'tspray poisons. You can do it if you put your mind to it,” Mrs. Fostersays.
While growing food is a critical aspect of our disconnect with theland, for many Londoners that reconnections begins with gardeningwhere more and more front yards are becoming naturalized areas.Londoners like Jon and Doina Popi who moved to Oak Grove Place sixyears ago who earlier this year removed their front yard in favour ofgardens.
“We love plants, not grass and are water conscious. We started withnatural plants in the back and put in the front garden this year. Itwill take a couple of years to fill in and be nice,” Mrs. Popi says.“The Blue Fescue, used as a border, was done with one $2 package ofseed. You have to plan and have a vision of what it will look like. Itdoes take time.”
As for Mr. Popi, “We love to garden and lawn mowing is just a chore.When it gets established it should require less watering than a lawn.”
However, Jay Murray, general manager of TLC Professional Landscaping,a knowledgeable and well informed professional who was eager andwilling to talk about the plusses and pitfalls to his business forconsumers, cautions that natural doesn't necessarily mean easier.
“I see people who are looking for solutions and sometimes they findthe wrong solutions, especially if they are looking for less work. Ican cut a quarter acre of turf in the time it takes you to weed agarden one-twentieth the size,” Mr. Murray says. “I hear it time andtime again and I hear it from amateurs rather than gardeners who knowhow much work a 10 by 10 garden can be. Inevitably it turns out to bea mess because the ratio is 10:1 for gardening versus grass cutting.Mulching can help but that's not what we’re seeing. A garden is muchmore cost and maintenance than yards and I sell gardens.”
He notes that there are healthy ways to approach an aesthetic lawn.
“People shouldn't be abandoning their lawn because a nice yard can beachieved without pesticides so long as you water them 10 times ayear,” Mr. Murray says. “Some varieties (of grass) like fescuesrequire less watering. All grasses we have in London right now arerelatively drought tolerant. The issue is that they are cutting grasstoo short and too often, especially during dry periods. They need aturf type perennial rye grass. It produces endophyte, a natural fungusthat is a natural pesticide. You don’t see it but it has stronginsecticidal properties and it's a great over seeder for a healthyyard.”
Our environment, its survival and our health are all quality of lifeissues and while the aesthetics are crucial, they are an end to themeans of our survival. It's where the Council of Canadians has placedthe emphasis.
“Another important thing that we need to do regarding this proposal isemphasise our quality of life over the aesthetics use of plants. Wehave to open our minds to the fact that not everyone sees things thesame. The issue around air quality is the focus because grass giveslittle back where naturalized areas sustain our ecosystem. Its re-priorizing what we think is important. The aesthetics will bebeautiful but we can’t get hung up on that. If we did this as a cityimagine the positive impact on our environment,” Mrs. Morningstarsays. “We’re losing honeybees so this is another step to sustainingour natural environment like bees, butterflies, insects and birds. Youhave to put in an initial effort and some money but if you plantnative species it re-invigorates the environment, reconnects thecommunity and our children to our natural surroundings. Gardening issomething you can do with your children and engages you in dialoguewith your neighbours. Shade trees reduce fossil fuel use so there area lot of qualities that make big improvements at minimal cost.”
For more information and background on boulevard planting you may needto turn to Guelph where they are a bit ahead of us according to Mrs.Morningstar by visiting In London, asearch of the city’s website regarding naturalized gardens results inthe Clearing of Land By-Law (Untidy lot conditions), not a veryprogressive position at present. However, that may soon change asLondon prepares to launches its Growing Naturally Campaign in light ofthe new pesticide ban.
“In order to go pesticide free there's an amount of knowledge you needto have to make those changes like knowing the amount of sun and thetypes of soil in your yard,” Mr. Donnelly says. “When we chose theterm Growing Naturally, we wanted something that you can apply to alldifferent areas of our city be it parks, the river and the city'soverall growth. They're all important and interconnected.”
Greg Sandle has been the pesticide education coordinator with the Cityof London for the past year, one of the few in the country. With abackground in horticulture and bylaw enforcement, his job has grownover the year to one focusing on education.
“I was hired for the implementation of the pesticide bylaw but it hasgrown into education and other areas. The education awareness hasbegun and we’re planning another round of education initiatives in thefall when the bylaw comes into effect. We have a lot of fact sheetsthat explain the benefits of going pesticide free. We currently havesix and we'll develop 19 in total,” Mr. Sandle says. “It comes down tounderstanding the insects in your yard like grubs and they're in everylawn. If your yard is healthy that can keep grubs manageable.”
He too is a big supporter of efforts to naturally green London and islearning from his efforts.
“There are traffic medians that are grass and others that are plantedso it becomes a cost and maintenance issue. We're learning from theseexperiences also,” Mr. Sandle says. “We’d like people to startboulevard planting. Plant height currently would be the only concernfor safety. When driving around the city we noticed that if oneneighbour naturalizes an area or plants gardens, it encouragesothers.”
¦ For more information on pesticide free lawns and garden care
¦ For further information on the Community Garden Network contact MaryYanful at 519-432-1801 (ext 300) or visit
¦ For further information on The City Farming Project, for backyardgardening locations or to purchase produce contact Rose White at519-777-1851 or
Copyright © 2009 The Londoner
Soft Landing for Pesticide Bylaw
Local News
The biggest casualties in Salmon Arm Council's budget cuts so far havebeen the parks capital works, asphalt overlay and the new pesticidebylaw environmentalists had been pushing for.
Administrator Carl Bannister says the property cuts focus on the twoaspects of that bylaw.
One is funding staff, recommended in order to switch to alternatemethods to control weeds on city property . That was paired down byCouncil.
The other aspect to the bylaw is banning of pesticide use on privateproperty within City limits but Bannister says they won't be activelyenforcing that over the next year.
Right now the tax increase has been cut from 7.25% to 3% with Counciltaking a further look at those numbers in January.
Bob Crouse, Salmon Arm
City of Port Coquitlam
Pesticide Control Bylaw
The City of Port Coquitlam along with the Canadian Cancer Society, theDavid Suzuki Foundation and other health and environmentally consciousgroups are concerned about the adverse effects of pesticides in ourcommunity.
Pesticides can contain environmental carcinogens which are known toincrease the risk of cancer. Scientists believe that the proportion ofcancer deaths related to environmental carcinogens is in the range of7-11%. Dandelion
While the Port Coquitlam City Parks Department has not used pesticideson City-owned land since 1983, to date, the City of Port Coquitlamdoes not have a Pesticide Use Control Bylaw regulating pesticide useon private lands. Many of our neighbouring municipalities have alreadytaken the initiative to implement Pesticide Bylaws in their communityso that they may regulate the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposeson private properties
The City of Port Coquitlam is now working towards creating our ownPesticide Use Control Bylaw, to come into effect in the near future.
Get InvolvedTake our Pesticide Bylaw survey or and take a look at someneighbouring municipalities’ Pesticide Control Bylaws: Port Moody'sPesticide Use Control Bylaw and Maple Ridge's Pesticide Bylaw
Wednesday July 02, 2008
Cochrane Times
Pesticide ban not yet in the works in Cochrane
Tracy Paffrath decided to replace her carefully groomed lawn in WestValley with a rock garden and native trees and plants.
“It takes a lot less water and it’s so much prettier,” said Paffrath,who’s only kept a small section of her backyard grassy.
This landscape change also means Paffrath has ditched usingpesticides, a move similar to what the City of Calgary is considering.
Calgary’s Utilities and Environmental Committee held a public meetingto ask for input June 25 on whether or not to ban pesticides,including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides.
“I’m not sure a ban is in the works for Cochrane, but anything canhappen in the future,” said Gary Wagner, Environmental Coordinator forthe Town of Cochrane.
“We’re required by law to treat some weeds and noxious plants, we dothat in a limited and carefully managed way,” said Wagner.
Cochrane started spraying for dandelions the last week of May usingPar 3, a combination of 24D and Dicamba.
“We only spray on public property and we try and stay out ofenvironmental servers, which are natural areas within the parks area,”said Parks and Facilities operator Brad Luft, who oversees pesticidetreatment for Cochrane.
The Town waits to spray for dandelions on sports fields until thefall. “Some people don’t like the idea of applications so we decidedto wait until the kids are done with the fields,” said Luft.
Pesticide use is “not a health concern if it’s used properly,” saidLuft.
The Town hires a certified pesticide applicator to do all it’sspraying and in a couple of weeks Luft will start treating for thistleusing a spray called Transline. The Town also hires a weed inspectorto look for restricted weeds such as knapweed and scentless chamomile.“We just treat that as required,” said Luft.
Wagner said he gets equal requests from residents to spray and not tospray. “Some people don’t like the weeds and very aggressive spreadingplants encroaching on their private property, and some people don’twant any spraying around their property or kids,” he said.
The Cochrane Environmental Action Committee has been receiving severalemails about banning pesticide use, said CEAC president Tim Giese.
The committee used to run Naturescape Cochrane, a group that educatedpeople about gardening practices, including pesticides and now Gieseis considering resurrecting the group.
“Pesticides pose a real serious threat to the environment,” Giesesaid.
He said he’s heard from several concerned residents that instead ofspot spraying the Town is doing blanket spraying again. “Theyshouldn’t be doing that,” said Giese. “We spot spray only and we sprayas little as we can get away with,” said Luft. “I would guess thatwe’ve cut our application by 33 per cent this year.”
While Giese is against pesticide use, including for his own lawn, hesaid it would be hard to enforce a ban.
“Unless you catch a person spraying, how are you going to enforce theban? Is such a bylaw enforceable? Is it practical?” he said.
Alternately, he said educating people about pesticide use is theanswer.
“We live in a very busy time and people want instant gratification.They don’t want to spend time digging out weeds unless they are adedicated gardener.”
Giese said there are, however, organic alternatives that work. Insteadof using pesticides topically apply vinegar to weeds. Keeping grass asleast 3 inches tall will help it absorb more water and naturallychokes out weeds. Spreading home compost on the lawn acts as a naturalfertilizer and only landscape with native plants because they don’trequire as much care.
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone

Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise

Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use

Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the

Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that

Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't

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Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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