Monday, March 23, 2009

A welcome ban on pesticides..And more

See below.....Sean Fox, assistant manager at the University of
Guelph's Arboretum and a native plant specialist, said the biggest
challenge is with lawn care companies. He said it was common to see
workers spraying properties that didn't have a lot of weeds. It was
about the money and not the need.

March 23, 2009


A welcome ban on pesticides

Part of being a good neighbour used to mean you kept your beautiful
green lawn perfectly manicured, no hint of a weed in sight --
especially a dreaded dandelion.

But these days the opposite is true. You're doing your part by not
having a little sign popping up from your lawn announcing you've just
had someone cover your property in chemicals to keep the weeds away.

Guelph came up with its own bylaw about a year ago to tackle this
issue, but a provincial ban kicks in April 22 and those will be the
rules to follow. The provincial legislation calls for the cosmetic use
of pesticides to be banned on lawns and gardens, as well as at
cemeteries, parks and schools.

The ban will force more than 250 pesticide products to be removed from
stores and 80 ingredients will be banned for cosmetic use.

As is the case with most rule books, there are loopholes allowing
licensed operators to apply the banned chemicals, such as for
agriculture, forestry, public health and golf courses.

The special designation for golf courses won't sit well with everyone,
but golfers like their fairways to be just right. They're unlikely to
complain about a sign informing them their playing surface has been
covered by a freshly applied spray as long as it means those beautiful
tee shots won't come to rest on a weed. Kind of makes players think
twice about using the lick-and-polish method to clean their Titleist,

A good thing about the provincewide rules is that there won't be a
patchwork of regulations, where a practice denied in one city could be
allowed in a neighbouring municipality.

The lawn care industry will be inconvenienced, but at least those
operators will know where they stand and can make necessary
adjustments to allow their businesses to survive.

There will always be those who say the science doesn't back a
pesticide ban, that those in favour are misinformed. But the city's
manager of parklands and greenways says he's glad the province finally
has its ban in place and we'll be happy when it takes effect too.


March 23, 2009

Guelph Mercury

Provincewide pesticide ban nears
Ontario's less stringent law will supercede Guelph bylaw that was
three years in the making

by Nicole O'Reilly
Mercury staff

When a provincewide pesticide ban comes into effect next month, it
will wipe out Guelph's year-old bylaw that was more than three years
in the making.

Guelph's more-stringent-than-expected bylaw was launched last year
during the same week Premier Dalton McGuinty laid plans for the
provincial ban. He promised municipalities could enforce their own
stricter bylaws, but later apologetically reneged, calling it his

Despite this political faux pas and initial concerns about the depth
of the provincial ban, both the city and community members that backed
the city bylaw say there is reason to be optimistic.

The provincial legislation, which takes effect April 22, means the
cosmetic use of pesticides will be banned on lawns, gardens,
cemeteries, parks and schools. It's the last step in the Cosmetic
Pesticides Ban Act, passed last June.

Unlike municipal bylaws, which could only restrict the use of
pesticides, the province will take products right off a store shelf.
More than 250 pesticide products will be removed and 80 ingredients
will be banned for cosmetic use.

When the ban was announced, there was and still remains strong
resistance from the landscaping industry.

Licensed operators can use the banned chemicals under exempted
practices. These exemptions include specific uses in agriculture,
forestry, public health and golf courses

Guelph Environment Network member Oxanna Adams was part of the group
that advocated for the city's bylaw. "Overall the legislation does not
seem to be very different from our own bylaw," Adams said, adding she
is not in favour of the golf course exemption.

However golf courses were also exempt under the city bylaw. She is
optimistic that the ban will be more easily enforced because products
will be removed.

"This was a significant loophole in the municipal bylaws," Adams said.
"Products were banned from use but consumers could still go out and
purchase them."

There is also great benefit to having a blanket policy, instead of a
patchwork of bylaws, she said.

Murray Cameron, the city's manager of parklands and greenways, agrees.

He said there is limited health and environmental benefits from
banning the use in one community, when it's allowed in the
neighbouring municipality.

"I'm glad they finally have it in place," Cameron said, calling it

Right now the only time the city uses any pesticide is for to address
a health concern, such as poison ivy.

Under the new legislation Ontario municipalities have wiggle room.
They can apply to the Ministry of the Environment for an exemption to
maintain sports fields for a national or international sporting event.
For public health and safety, banned pesticides may also be used on
public works structures, including hydro and waterworks facilities.

To take advantage of an exemption, city council would need to vote on
the action, Cameron said.

Given the depth of the municipal bylaw Guelph passed, it is unlikely
there will be the political will to enact any exemptions in the near

Sean Fox, assistant manager at the University of Guelph's Arboretum
and a native plant specialist, said the biggest challenge is with lawn
care companies. He said it was common to see workers spraying
properties that didn't have a lot of weeds. It was about the money and
not the need.

The Arboretum is 99 per cent pesticide free, only spraying to get rid
of poison ivy. This will continue to be allowed under the provincial

Fox said the idea one dandelion on your lawn is a bad, unneighbourly
thing is changing, and is not likely to be a priority for younger


Pesticide-free gardening may seem a daunting task to some, but there
are many resources available to keep pests out of your vegetables and

The Canadian Federation of University Women Guelph, in conjunction
with the city and the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, is hosting a three-
part workshop called Go Green Without Pesticides.

WHAT: Presentations on how to create pest-resistant lawns and gardens
from Karen McKeown, healthy landscape technician with the city, Rob
Witherspoon from the Guelph Turfgrass Institute and Research Centre,
and Thelma Kessel of Lacewing.

There is also a marketplace and opportunity for Q & A with a master

WHEN: April 1, 8, and May 13 -- 6:30 p.m. marketplace; 7 to 9 p.m.

WHERE: Guelph Turfgrass Institute, 328 Victoria Rd. S.

TICKETS: $15 for one evening or $35 for the series. Available at The
Bookshelf or at


39:2 Hansard - 83 (2008/4/28)



Mr. Pat Martin
Bill C-52 is inadequate on a number of levels, one of which I was
just illustrating. I believe it should require the government to take
positive action when it comes to light that a product on the market is

In the current context of the bill, if the government is made
aware of a toxic chemical in a children's toy there would be no legal
requirement for it to even make people aware of it. In the case of the
asbestos in the CSI fingerprint toy, it was denying it. It would not
even suggest that asbestos was bad for us. I made the government aware
of it but there was no attempt by the government to recall the toy. We
had a press conference downstairs in the 130-S room. To this day, the
government has done nothing about it because for it to say that the
asbestos in that children's toy is bad, it would need to admit that
the asbestos it is subsidizing and exporting around the world is bad
for people. It would be caught and hoisted on its own petard, as it

There is no legal requirement in the bill for the government to
make people aware of a bad product and I think that is wrong. I
suppose there would be political consequences if we exposed the
government, which I did in the CSI thing, but it is hard because, as
we know, after the fact accountability relies on the government
getting caught.

Next related paragraph
Similarly, the minister would have the power to order companies to
conduct studies to ensure that a product is safe but nothing in the
proposed law would ensure that products are regularly tested for
toxicity. This is the subject of another bill, Bill C-225, in my name,
a pesticide bill where we believe there should be a reverse onus on
the companies that want to sell pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
and that it should not really be up to us, or even the Government of
Canada, to prove beyond a doubt that the product is absolutely safe.
It should be the company that must prove the chemical is safe before
it is sold. There is no such obligation now. The company can sell
anything and only if someone does all the testing and determines it is
unsafe will the company be curtailed in the sale of products.

Previous related paragraphNext related paragraph
That is completely arse backwards. That is clearly the lobbyists
and the petrochemical industry. The pesticide producers have done a
very effective job in tying the government around their little finger.
This reverse onus notion would put the burden of proof on the
manufacturers that the products they are selling are safe and the
precautionary principle should surely apply, especially when we are
dealing with children and pregnant women who are that much more
susceptible and vulnerable to chemical contamination. The cell walls
of a developing child, as the cells are multiplying, are so thin that
they are like little sponges for these chemical pesticides.

We cannot put a tonne of pesticides on our lawns and let our
children go out to roll in the grass and not expect them to be
affected and affected permanently.

Previous related paragraph
We also believe and are calling for the nationwide ban on the
cosmetic, non-essential, non-agricultural use of pesticides. The
provinces of Ontario and Quebec have now done it but that is only in
the absence of leadership and direction from the federal government
that should have done it without having to wait for other
jurisdictions to do its regulatory job for it.


39-1: Hansard - 42 (2006/6/16)

Mr. Pat Martin
Next related paragraph
The second issue I would like to touch on in terms of public
health is in the context of the new Public Health Agency of Canada and
the role of the chief public health officer. I hope the new chief
public health officer will take note of the fact that over 90 Canadian
municipalities have banned the cosmetic non-essential use of
pesticides in their municipalities. I hope he takes note of the
courage and tenacity that it takes on the part of often volunteer
reeves and councillors of small municipalities and cities who only
work part time in many cases.

Previous related paragraphNext related paragraph
Those individuals have to stand up to the massive chemical
lobbyists who pounce on communities. As soon as they indicate that
they are interested in banning the non-essential cosmetic use of
pesticides, they get inundated with the lawyers, the lobbyists and the
threatened lawsuits that the cosmetic use of pesticides cannot be
banned because it is an unfair trade restriction and they have no
jurisdiction. They bog them up in the courts for years trying to stop
them from doing what common sense dictates they do.

Previous related paragraphNext related paragraph
That is the situation that over 90 municipalities in Canada have
had to struggle through. The City of Ottawa failed by one vote after
two years of trying. I hope our new national chief public health
officer can recognize the problems the municipalities must struggle
with and encourage the government to do nationally what municipalities
are forced to do municipally.

Previous related paragraphNext related paragraph
Parliament had an opportunity to pass an NDP opposition day motion
to ban the cosmetic non-essential use of pesticides and to lend
support to those courageous municipalities. I should point out that
Hudson, Quebec was the first municipality in Canada that managed to do
this. It was in response partly to two young men in the area of
Hudson, Quebec who lived in the vicinity of five golf courses that
were regularly sprayed with these chemical pesticides. The cluster of
chemical and environmentally related cancers in that area was

Previous related paragraphNext related paragraph
Those two young men both contracted brain cancer in their early
teens. They made a pact with each other that if either of them
survived the other would go on to be a champion of having these
pesticides banned. One died and the other went on to be a champion. I
have heard him speak and I wish everyone in the House of Commons could
hear him speak.


Previous related paragraph
Those communities, one by one, were banning cosmetic pesticides
until the entire province of Quebec did so, to its great credit. The
province took it out of the hands of those struggling municipalities.
It said that it would stand up to the big chemical companies, that it
would fight the court cases on behalf of the municipalities and that
it would do away with the hundreds of thousands of kilos per year of
usage of non-essential cosmetic pesticides.

True public health is when we take steps to try to improve the
general health of our population. It does not make sense to wait until
more and more people contract environmentally triggered cancers and
then scramble for the money to find better treatments for those
people. I do not think we will ever keep up.


4 teachers poisoned
23/03/2009 12:42 - (South Africa)
# Health24: Poisoning

Durban - Four teachers "absorbed" insect poison at a KwaZulu-Natal
primary school on Monday and have been rushed to a clinic for
treatment, paramedics said.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said one teacher was in a
critical condition while the other three were in a serious condition.

The educators had absorbed "organophosphate" at Mkobozi Primary School
in Esikhawini on the province's North Coast. The school had since been

It was believed a man had entered the school on Friday and sprayed the
insect pesticide throughout the premises.

"Teachers arrived at the school on Monday and had absorbed the poison
through their skin," said Botha.

No children were affected as they were evacuated.

Botha explained that when a building was sprayed with such a
pesticide, it could take about four days to clear up before anyone
could enter.

Organophosphate compounds are a diverse group of chemicals used in
both domestic and industrial settings.

Examples of organophosphates include insecticides, nerve gases such as
sarin, and herbicides.

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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

Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

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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