Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Government still examining pesticide ban - Newfoundland

19 Apr 2011

 The St. John’s Telegram

Government still examining pesticide ban

The provincial government is still studying a cosmetic pesticide ban, Environment Minister Ross Wiseman told the House of Assembly Monday.

During question period, Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones asked about the possibility of a ban, citing support from the Canadian Cancer Society, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, the Canadian Lung Association and the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses’ Union. Wiseman said the government is taking its time to do it right. “It is an important issue,” he said. “It requires a lot of consideration. There are a number of implications in making any policy change in the province and any time we introduce legislation as a government it is not done frivolously. It is done as a result of a lot of analysis, a lot of due diligence on our part.”

http://www.thetelegram.com
      
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April 18, 2011                     

Hansard - House of Assembly - Newfoundland and Labrador

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS                 Vol. XLVI   No. 17

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MS JONES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Nalcor might be owned by the people, but the people did not have a say in putting $23 million in a hole in the oil – for looking for oil in Parsons Pond. Nor did they have a say, Mr. Speaker, on whether their light bills should be doubled up or not in this Province.

Mr. Speaker, for several years the Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides has been asking the provincial government to implement a ban on cosmetic pesticides in the Province. Mr. Speaker, they have made representation to the government and the minister. The minister claims that he needs to do due diligence on this file and he needs some time to have a look at it, although he has been aware of it since he has been the Minister of Health.

I ask the minister today: What sort of commitment are you prepared to make on banning cosmetic pesticides in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Conservation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WISEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

As I have said to the environmental groups who have come in to have a chat with me about this issue –because it is something that has been talked about a lot in Newfoundland and Labrador in recent years and because it is an important issue, I need to make sure that we fully understand the issues at hand, the implications of making any change in any legislation we have on the books in the Province.

The commitment I have made to them, that as a department we are in a process of doing some due diligence, evaluating the question at hand and when we are ready, I said I would bring forward to my Cabinet colleagues a recommendation as to how we might proceed as a Province. When that exercise has been concluded, Mr. Speaker, then we will be in a position to make an announcement for the people of the Province.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

MS JONES: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

This issue has been going on for the last two or three years, government has been aware of it. It is supported, Mr. Speaker, by the Canadian Cancer Society, by the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, the Nurse’s Association, the Lung Association. There are many other groups, the Federation of Municipalities, even three of the largest cities in the Province, Mr. Speaker, have looked at this particular issue and supported it.

I ask the minister today: Will you not make a commitment to this particular group as it relates to cosmetic pesticides and will you do it in the course of the next few months?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Conservation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. WISEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I thank the member opposite for listing off all of those who have an interest in it because it speaks to the sensitivities around the issue; it speaks to the complexity of the question and the issues that have been raised by those particular members and those organizations that they represent.

Let me repeat what I said a moment ago, Mr. Speaker, it is an important issue. It requires a lot of consideration. There are a number of implications in making any policy change in the Province and any time we introduce legislation as a government it is not done frivolously. It is done as a result of a lot of analysis, a lot of due diligence on our part. When we bring something to this House and introduce something to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can be assured it has been well analyzed, we have done our due diligence and we will make the appropriate decisions in the best interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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