WOLFVILLE — The Town of Wolfville has endorsed Pesticide Free Nova Scotia’s call for a provincial ban on lawn pesticides.
In a news release last week, Wolfville Mayor Robert Stead said lawn pesticides pose an unnecessary risk to the health of residents and the environment.
"Pesticide Free Nova Scotia has outlined a simple plan to ban the use and sale of landscape pesticides, enforce the new rules and educate the public."
Canada’s first town to ban smoking in vehicles carrying children wants to see a province without lawn pesticides.
"At the moment, it would be an endorsement," Mr. Stead told The Chronicle Herald on Saturday. "We hoped this would become an election issue. We are ready to formulate our own bylaw."
Mr. Stead said until provincial legislation is enacted, council could just hope to control instead of ban these products.
"Ultimately, we are looking for a ban right across the province. Other provinces seem like they are ready to move, but it’s been a moot point during the election. Nobody has raised the issue."
Mr. Stead said that in some provinces, lawn pesticides simply don’t appear on store shelves.
"The easy thing to do is to ban the sale so nobody has access," he said. "There are some very large retail outlets that have said they will not sell these products in the coming years.
"Of course, public education is important. We don’t want to get caught up in enforcement. You have to work a little harder at it, but you get the preferred results. We have a community in Wolfville that is more than ready."
Town landscape crews ceased using pesticides a dozen years ago.
"We can find other products to use," Mr. Stead said.
"For example, people can use horticultural vinegar for weed control. It’s great stuff for spot-kill use and it’s environmentally friendly."
The town intends to set up a committee by September to look at the issue. The mayor said he also hopes the province will look at legislation banning lawn pesticides this fall.
"I keep wishing we would follow the lead of Quebec and Ontario. It’s not rocket science. We could use their (legislation and enforcement) template.
"I would say that when we go to write a bylaw, we have six of the seven people at the (council) table who voted to support Pesticide Free Nova Scotia. We’ve had public meetings and did a year of study. There would be another airing when the bylaw was presented in legal format for the public to have their say."