TORONTO, March 4, 2009 – When the province’s pesticide law takes
effect next month, it will include a comprehensive list of harmful and
toxic substances banned for use on gardens and lawns.
The sweeping regulations released today by the Ministry of Environment
cap a long campaign by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
(RNAO), as part of a coalition of health and environmental groups that
pushed for fast implementation of the law.
“The Premier and the Minister of the Environment are to be
congratulated for heeding the call of health and environmental
organizations. Pesticides are poisonous and children right across the
province will be better protected thanks to this announcement,” says
Wendy Fucile, President of RNAO.
“These regulations set a new standard. Ontario is ahead of any
jurisdiction in North America when it comes to banning the display,
sale and use of cosmetic pesticides,” says Doris Grinspun, RNAO’s
While RNAO is pleased that the new law about to take effect will make
the province a healthier place to live, the association says its work
isn’t finished. Nurses will continue to push the government to extend
its ban to include golf courses.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the
professional association representing registered nurses wherever they
practise in Ontario . Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public
policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’
contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced
decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.
For more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209Cell: 647-406-5605
For details, go to http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/
Wednesday March 4, 2009
List Of Banned Pesticides To Be Made Public Wednesday
Starting Wednesday, the Ontario government will let you know which
chemicals you can and can't use on your own front lawn.
Stores wouldn't be allowed to sell the banned pesticides, or could
only sell them with restrictions, once the bill comes into effect
The full list of products - and ingredients - will be revealed later
in the day and many popular weed killers may be affected.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, the ban prohibits the
sale and use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on lawns, gardens,
parks and school yards, and includes many herbicides, fungicides and
insecticides. Over 250 products will be banned for sale and more than
95 pesticide ingredients will be banned for cosmetic uses.
The regulation comes on the heels of the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act
that was passed by the legislature June 18, 2008.
The ban makes exceptions for agriculture, forestry and golf courses,
and for public health or safety issues. For example, you'll be allowed
to get rid of poison ivy as well as mosquitoes. The law supersedes
existing municipal pesticide by-laws.
The legislation stems from health concerns, especially the safety of
The Canadian Cancer Society, for example, has long called for reducing
our exposure to pesticides. That's particularly true for children who
are generally more susceptible to the potential toxic effects.
March 4, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: your name and phone number
Pesticide Free Ontario a Reality!
The Spring 2009 implementation of Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticide Ban is
welcome news to all of Pesticide Free Ontario members and supporters.
This legislation reflects the successful combination of decades of
work by health and environmental organizations, grassroots advocates
and a proactive Premier.
“With this legislation, the Ontario Liberal government is showing that
it clearly understands the principles of a green economy – that you
can protect both health and the environment and create jobs,” said
Susan Koswan, Executive Director of PFO.
In communities where municipal pesticide bans have been in place, such
as Toronto and Halifax, the horticultural industries have shown
exponential growth, according to StatsCanada Business Patterns
As of April 22, 2009 close to one hundred toxic ingredients will no
longer be for sale or used on lawns for cosmetic purposes.
“By banning the sale of these products, this legislation raises the
bar beyond the most stringent municipal bylaws,” said (your name or
group representative )
Pesticide Free Ontario would like to take this opportunity to thank
Premier McGuinty, Minister Gerretsen and Ministry of Environment staff
for their commitment to a cleaner, greener Ontario.
Media Availability: Expected announcement on Ontario Pesticide Ban
By: David Suzuki Foundation
Queen’s Park is expected to announce any day now how it will implement
its province-wide ban on cosmetic pesticides.
The David Suzuki Foundation can help explain how the new rules will
affect Ontarians and provide analysis on how effective the regulations
Who can you interview?
Lisa Gue, Environmental Health Policy Analyst. Ms Gue is the
Foundation’s point person on pesticides and toxic chemicals. She has
closely followed Ontario’s cosmetic pesticide ban since it
announcement in 2007, and has co-authored reports and analysis on the
ban for the foundation. She can provide a direct comparison with
Quebec’s existing regulations and other municipal bans.
Why interview someone from the David Suzuki Foundation?
From the beginning, the David Suzuki Foundation has led a broad-based
coalition of Ontario health and environmental groups in trying to
influence the outcomes of the cosmetic pesticide ban. As a result, we
know what to look for in the regulations and can provide in-depth
analysis. The general public is also aware of our work on this issue
via the popular “ David Suzuki Digs My Garden” contest
Want to set up an interview?
Need more information about the Ontario Pesticide Ban?
Please visit our website at:
source: David Suzuki Foundation
March 4th, 2009
Clinton News Record
MPP defends pesticide ban
By Cheryl Heath
One man’s “slippery slope” is another person’s “quantum leap.”
Those were among the terms used, Saturday, during the Huron County
Federation of Agriculture’s annual MP/MPP luncheon, which saw the
Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, that comes into effect this April, as a
hot topic of debate.
Crop specialist Merv Erb was among several ag-industry stakeholders
that took to the mic in order to speak out against the ban, which
already allows for an exemption for farmers.
Part of the problem, says Erb, is public perception.
Erb expressed particular displeasure with the province’s willingness
to bend to the pesticide-ban suggestion since it was put forth by the
Ontario Medical Association, which is not a regulatory body.
Erb says if Health Canada says pesticides are OK when used according
to guidelines, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense for the province to
“trump” the feds’ findings.
Continued After Advertisement Below
Noting Health Canada is staffed by highly educated scientists and
medical professionals, Erb expressed “shock” the push by medical
doctors is superceding medical research.
Arguing the province’s ban is little more than bowing to public
pressure, Erb said once in place, the ban will eventually impact
agriculture since the public will be questioning why one sector is
allowed to use something it cannot.
“The new law is popular to a vocal minority,” says Erb. “The Premier
is posing as a white knight protecting children from evil chemicals.”
Further, argues Erb, Canada allows the import of foods from countries
that use chemicals banned here.
“It’s OK to have (pesticides) on food but not on lawns?” he asked.
In short, says Erb, banning pesticides in urban areas while allowing
their use in farm settings will only lead to a further outcry.
“The government seems all too willing to jump on the public-hysteria
bandwagon,” he says.
Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell told Erb that by his own logic, the
province should move forward with a complete ban on pesticides,
including one for the agriculture sector.
“That’s what you just said,” she says.
Further, says Mitchell, the province is moving forward with the ban
because doctors have identified pesticides as one of the potential
triggers of cancer, which is something that is becomingly increasingly
problematic for Ontarians.
“What we’re addressing today is one in four families has cancer,” says
Mitchell says the province cannot look at the ban as an either or
Rather, it must enact the legislation in a method that is the most
She also notes the ban was part of the party’s platform and,
therefore, has support.
Erb, however, says there were a number of platforms in the Liberal
campaign, any number of which could be pointed to as a reason for the
party’s success at the polls.
“This thing is a slippery slope for agriculture,” he says. “This is a
very dangerous thing we’re headed for here, and I’m not too happy
Varna-area farmer Bev Hill also spoke out against the legislation.
“Clearly the OMA has been able to trump the science-based federal
research,” he says. “Your government has clearly demonstrated that
they lack confidence in one of those organizations.”
Bluewater Mayor Bill Dowson, meanwhile, notes that farmers must, by
legislation, regularly take courses on proper pesticide application,
which is something the general public is not required to do.
“Farmers are not slack. They have a strict rule to follow,” he says.
Mitchell stood firm to the province’s findings on the issue.
“The OMA has looked at all the factors affecting health. This is an
item that can be addressed in battling cancer,” says Mitchell.
Meanwhile, soybean farmer Bob Hallam also spoke out against the ban.
“Merv is trying to present some of it isn’t science based,” said
“It’s your spin doctors that are causing the grief.”
Hallam says Erb is likely right that agriculture will eventually be
forced to forego the use of pesticides, something that would be a
major blow to grain and oilseed farmers, among others.
“The way (the legislation) is being worded is going to give
agriculture a black eye,” says Hallam.
Huron County Warden Ken Oke says while he has witnessed the wrongful
application of pesticides in urban centres, it seems questionable to
enact a ban while continuing to allow the importing of pesticide-laden
foods from other countries.
“Maybe the government should ban the imports?” he said.
However, the MPP notes border restrictions are an issue that fall
under the federal government’s jurisdiction.
She says the province is looking at other methods, including investing
millions into Buy Local strategies, to ensure Ontarians are consuming
safe produce and meats.
While giving kudos to Ag CARE, the group addressing the pesticide ban,
she says it’s a “quantum leap” to assume a pesticide ban will lead to
an outright ban for pesticide use on farmers’ fields.
Article ID# 1460610
March 4, 2009
Organic Lawn School
Trying to keep a lawn organic can prove challenging when you do not
really know what organic means in terms of backyard turf coverage and
care. Enter the Nantucket Land Council's one-day Organic Lawn and Turf
course being taught on the island by Chip Osborne of Osborne Organics.
Being a guardian of Nantucket's environment, including its
groundwater, ponds and harbors, the Nantucket Land Council is
dedicated to generating greater awareness of the pollution caused by
conventional landscaping practices on the island, specifically the
overuse of harmful pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
This class is being held on March 10 at Bartlett's Farm Hayloft for
$35. Learn all about soil biology, growing grass naturally, cultural
practices for natural turf and some practical solutions for
professional landscapers. Contact Elisabeth Hazell at the Land Council
at 228-2818 to sign up. I
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
Attention News Editors:
McGuinty government ignores science, new regs likely to do more harm
OTTAWA, March 4 /CNW/ - Agricultural and landscaping groups, along
Canada's plant science industry, are disappointed with the Ontario
government's regulations banning the sale and use of pesticides for
gardens. They say the government has failed to develop a solid,
foundation for the new regulations and warn the decision will have
"Ontario farmers are disappointed that these regulations are not
science-based," said Bette Jean Crews, president of Ontario Federation
Agriculture. "The government is discouraging innovation with these
and that jeopardizes the ability of farmers to continue to produce a
affordable supply of healthy foods. Without access to the newest pest
innovations, Ontario farmers will soon find they are at a competitive
"These regulations send a negative - and inaccurate - message to
public about the adequacy of the federal regulatory system and at the
time increases the risk of Ontario farms being exposed to pest
from non-agricultural land," said Paul Wettlaufer, a farmer and vice-
Agricultural Groups Concerned about Resources and the Environment
"These regulations will have a negative impact on Ontario's 20,000
care professionals and Ontarians are soon going to notice the lack of
effective options available to control fungus on their roses, insects
grubs in their lawns, or weeds taking over their patios and turf,"
DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario.
"The Ontario government has created an environment of uncertainty
makes it unlikely Canada will be seen as a place to invest as newer
effective pest control products are made available in other
Lorne Hepworth, president of CropLife Canada. "The consequences of
irrational decisions won't be felt immediately, but one day Ontarians
realize that the products this government is banning provided safe and
effective ways of dealing with pest problems that are detrimental to
health and safety, and which cause landscape and structural losses
real and significant financial costs."
In Canada, all pesticides, whether they are intended for
lawn and garden, golf, forestry, or structural pest control, must meet
standards set by Health Canada before they are approved for sale and
Under this rigorous regulatory system, Canadians have access to
that can be safely used and which are proven to be effective at
pests that can create a myriad of problems.
These four associations represent more than 40,000 Ontario farm
20,000 lawn care professionals and nursery operations in Ontario, and
manufacturers, developers and distributors of Canada's $1.4 billion
control products industry.
For further information: Neil Currie, Ontario Federation of
(519) 821-8883; Nadine Sisk, CropLife Canada, (613) 230-9881 Ext 3224;
Schaer, AGCare, (519) 837-1326; Gavin Dawson, Landscape Ontario, (905)
40:1 Hansard - 3 (2008/11/20)
Mr. Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, CPC):
Agriculture is the most important long-term and renewable industry
in my constituency and in Canada. No industry is more important.
I was raised on a mixed farm and I am still involved in a grain
farm on a crop share basis. Many of my friends and neighbours are
Our party cares deeply about farmers because our party has deep
roots in rural communities right across Canada. I am proud of that. I
am proud of what our government has done to date on agriculture over
the past two and a half years. I want to talk about that.
As the member of Parliament for Vegreville—Wainwright, I have
provided substantial input into many issues to do with agriculture. In
our party and in our caucus we are free to do that, and many of my
colleagues have provided a lot of input.
On the broader issues, of course, decisions are made by the
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian
Wheat Board in cooperation with some of our incredibly capable public
servants in the department.
However, many members in the House take on particular issues.
These are not large issues nationally, but they are very important to
individual groups and to people in certain constituencies. I want to
talk a little about some of these issues.
Next related paragraph
My colleagues and I have been successful in providing control for
gophers, which are one of the most devastating pests to crops and
pastures in the prairie provinces in particular. Returning 2% liquid
strychnine to farmers probably saves them over $200 million a year.
When we are talking about billions of dollars all the time, sometimes
$200 million does not sound like a lot, but to my friends and my
neighbours and my colleagues it is important. Our government has done
that because a small group of us have taken it on as an issue and
lobbied for it.
Previous related paragraph
We have also lobbied to extend the own-use imports program for
glyphosate and expanded it to a number of other products. Under the
replacement program for own-use imports, the GROU program, farmers can
now import these products from the United States in particular, again
saving farmers tens of millions of dollars each and every year.
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