Health and environmental groups oppose roll-back of Manitoba cosmetic pesticide restrictions

Doctors, public health and environmental groups urge Manitoba Ministers to preserve non-essential pesticide ban

June 28, 2022 – More than thirty health and environmental organizations are appealing to the Manitoba Government to maintain the province’s restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides.

The Manitoba College of Family Physicians, Manitoba Health Coalition, Manitoba Lung Association, Manitoba Public Health Association, Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba, and Winnipeg Humane Society are among the organizations speaking out.

The groups have endorsed an open letter to Jeff Wharton, Minister of Environment, Climate and Parks, and Audrey Gordon, Minister of Health, warning that resuming the use of currently banned pesticides will increase health risks for Manitobans, particularly children.

Allowing the use of riskier lawn pesticides will also increase chemical runoff into waterways, harm essential pollinators and increase risks for pets that play on treated lawns, the groups note.

WHAT ORGANIZATIONS ARE SAYING

Manitoba College of Family Physicians: “Family doctors take the privilege and responsibility of caring for their patients and communities seriously, and this includes advocating for public policy that protects the fundamental right to health. Peer-reviewed studies have established that serious health risks are associated with human exposure to chemical pesticides; therefore, the Manitoba College of Family Physicians believes that there is a need for continued restrictions on non-essential use of pesticides.” – Dr. Joanna Lynch, President

Manitoba Health Coalition: “The Manitoba Health Coalition views human exposure to pesticides as a matter of public health. The overwhelming consensus of the available research tells us that children are most at risk from exposure to pesticides. Toxic lawn pesticides represent an unnecessary and avoidable threat to the health of children and others in our community. The pesticide ban can and should stay in place.” – Thomas Linner, Provincial Director

Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba: “Significant research suggests a link between exposure to these chemicals and neurodevelopmental toxicity. Exposure to even small amounts of these pesticides carries a risk of impairing healthy brain development, ultimately leading to an increased risk of developing a neurodevelopmental disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, IQ deficits, autism. We strongly encourage the Manitoba Government to keep the current pesticide legislation in place, for the sake of our children’s health and education.” – Karen Velthuys, Executive Director

Winnipeg Humane Society: “The Winnipeg Humane Society has supported restrictions on cosmetic uses of pesticides since regulations were first introduced in Manitoba. Animals are subject to many of the same health risks as humans when exposed to chemical pesticides on lawns and boulevards. Provincial restrictions on non-essential pesticides should remain in place to protect family pets and all animal species from these preventable health risks.” – Jessica Miller, CEO

NEXT STEPS

Bill 22, now before the Manitoba Legislature, would weaken provincial pesticide restrictions by allowing lawn care companies, municipalities and homeowners to use currently prohibited pesticides on public and residential lawns. The bill is set to come to a vote in the Legislature in the fall of 2022.

TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT YOUR HEALTH

  1. Tell the provincial government and your MLA that you want to maintain current restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides to continue protecting Manitobans from unnecessary health and environmental risks.
  2. Share the link to this web site to let others know what’s at stake if proposed changes become law.
  3. Write a Letter to the Editor saying why you feel that the existing cosmetic pesticide restrictions should not be loosened.

Cosmetic pesticide ban should remain

Let’s continue the health and environmental benefits of pesticide-free green spaces

APRIL 7, 2022 – The following column by CPBM Coalition member Anne Lindsey was previously published in the Winnipeg Free Press.

Geese flying overhead. A warm sun. Puddles. For a winter-weary Manitoba, Spring is finally making an appearance. This year, it cannot come soon enough. Many of us long for sounds of kids playing outside, strolls around the neighbourhood, picnics and playdates in the park and getting back into the garden.

photo of park

So what a nasty surprise that the provincial government wants to roll back the cosmetic pesticide ban. If this change to legislation is passed, those neighbourhood strolls will soon be accompanied by the distinct odor of weed-killing chemicals and signs warning us to “stay off the grass until dry”. As if chemicals are any safer once dry!

The ban on non-essential (cosmetic) pesticides – in other words, chemicals used to kill broadleaf weeds in grass – has provided 6 years of a cleaner environment in this province. Based on evidence that many common lawn care products pose risks to human, animal and environmental health, Manitoba joined Quebec, Ontario, and other jurisdictions in removing exposures to these products from our daily lives.

It’s been a breath of fresh air – literally, for those who live with asthma and other respiratory conditions. It has meant that pregnant people can spend time outside knowing that their unborn child is not being exposed to the unnecessary products that can trigger birth defects. And that parents can happily watch their kids rolling around on grass not treated with substances that can enter their still developing bodies and cause health problems later in life. Likewise, pet owners know their animals are safe outside from contamination by chemicals linked to cancers and other illnesses in animals.

But all this is about to change. When the ban was proposed in 2015, many municipalities objected, fearing a “dandelion apocalypse” if they weren’t allowed to use their chosen products. That voice was amplified by some farm groups, even though farm chemicals were not the subject of the legislation.

And there were people worried about their pristine lawns treated every year to create the weed-free green expanse often seen in advertising. Let’s remember – that advertising comes from powerful corporations, like Bayer (now owners of Monsanto), and Syngenta, with vested interests in selling their toxic products. Under the banner of Crop Life Canada, they funded a massive postcard campaign, conveniently delivered by lawn care companies to their clients just in time to lobby the government of the day against implementing the ban.

But as 2016 Probe Research polling showed, a majority of Manitobans, from all parts of the province and all walks of life, supported it. We had become cautious about these products and wanted them out of the environment and out of our bodies. The pesticide ban was the right thing to do.

Opponents have continued to agitate. Now today’s government cites its unscientific 2016 “consultation” to argue that most respondents want the ban lifted. Municipalities, they say, find the costs of battling dandelions without toxics are just too high.

Yet, a 2018 survey by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment of 6 cities across the country demonstrated these municipalities were not, in fact, spending more on greenspace management under cosmetic pesticide bans. They were maintaining publicly acceptable landscapes at reasonable cost, by applying sound horticultural practices like aeration and top dressing.

Here in Manitoba, local lawn care companies pivoted to use of less toxic products, and more important, to basic turf management practices to maintain their clients’ green spaces. An appreciation has sprung up for low maintenance ground covers in place of grass. People are becoming aware of threats to vital pollinators like bees posed by chemical products and turning to hardy native perennials as alternatives to mono-cultured, thirsty lawns.

It’s hard if not impossible to quantify improvements to health, waterways and pollinator populations that a cosmetic pesticide ban promotes because we are exposed to so many different chemicals in our air, food and water. But as the Ontario College of Family Physicians pointed out in their 2012 comprehensive review of research on links between pesticides and disease, a precautionary approach means avoiding any exposures that are not deemed necessary. Even Health Canada takes this view. Cosmetic pesticides, by definition, are not necessary. Their toxic impacts have not changed since the legislation was introduced here. They should be eliminated.

If Manitoba reverses the ban, we will be first province to do so. Truly, it will be a victory of the chemical corporations over human and environmental health and common sense.

Manitobans who object to this major backward step need to speak out.

Anne Lindsey is a member of the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba Coalition, former Executive Director of the Manitoba Eco-Network, and a research associate with the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Province to weaken pesticide restrictions that protect children’s health

BREAKING NEWS

March 26, 2022 – The health of Manitobans will be harmed if the provincial government proceeds with announced plans to weaken restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides.

Bill 22 on the Government’s legislative agenda will amend Manitoba’s pesticide regulation to allow the use of currently banned pesticides on municipal and residential lawns. The planned amendments will also permit the unrestricted sale of these harmful pesticides at retail outlets.

At present, only the products on an allowable pesticides list can be used on lawns. The proposed loosening of restrictions would allow municipalities and lawn care companies to apply toxic pesticides to lawns, greatly expanding exposure of residents to these chemicals.

And individuals would be able to freely purchase currently banned pesticides for their own use, with no monitoring or control of such sales.

As noted on this web site, exposure to non-essential toxic pesticides puts human health, especially children’s health, at unnecessary risk.

Some municipalities contend that the more toxic products are needed because, they claim, the alternatives are ineffective and cost too much. But a study of Canadian cities with cosmetic pesticide bans, conducted by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment in 2018, found that satisfactory and publicly accepted levels of weed control can be successfully achieved at reasonable cost without using the riskier herbicides.

PROTECT THE HEALTH OF YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

Email or phone your provincial representative (see below) to tell them you oppose Bill 22 and its roll-back of existing environmental protections. Remind them that people want to live in healthy communities where they and their children are not exposed to avoidable pesticide health risks. Peer-reviewed studies have established that toxic pesticides put human health at risk. And experience elsewhere shows they are not needed for weed control on residential lawns and municipal green spaces.

In addition, restricting non-essential uses of pesticides also helps to protect the health of pets, reduce risks for pollinating insects, reduce pesticide contamination of waterways, and preserve biodiversity. There is simply no need to change the existing non-essential pesticide use regulation that is helping to keep children healthy and our environment safe.

How to contact your MLA
Use this link to find your elected Member of the Legislative Assembly. Or if you already know their name, you can find their contact information here.

Concerned Manitobans also have a right to speak at Legislative Committee hearings to be held after the bill passes second reading. To register to present on Bill 22, call the Office of the Clerk 204-945-3636 or email committees@leg.gov.mb.ca. Also note, the public is still not allowed to enter the Legislature, so presentations will be virtual. Presentation guidelines are at: https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/committees/presentation_how_to.html

LET OTHERS KNOW

Three simple ways to spread the word about the Province’s plans to weaken Manitoba’s non-essential pesticide laws:
(1) Share the link to this web site – https://cosmeticpesticidebanmb.com/ – or to the backgrounder noted below.
(2) Download and share this (PDF) summary and backgrounder that describes what’s at stake with the proposed changes.

(3) Write a Letter to the Editor saying why you feel that the current restrictions on cosmetic pesticides should remain in place.

Bill 22 is now scheduled to come to a vote during the fall session of the Manitoba Legislature. Voice your concerns to help ensure that cosmetic pesticide restrictions are retained, so that families and communities are protected from unnecessary pesticide health risks.

Municipalities don’t need toxic pesticides, study finds

Maintaining attractive, functional parks and sports fields doesn’t have to cost the earth

October 2018 – A report from the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) refutes the myth that the cost of municipal weed control spirals upwards — and weeds run rampant in public parks and green spaces — when local governments are not allowed to use typical toxic pesticides.

Some municipalities in Manitoba have expressed fears of skyrocketing costs and a virtual dandelion apocalypse, because of the province’s restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides, which came into effect in 2015. The Association of Manitoba Municipalities has indicated that its members want the law changed to allow local governments to use currently banned products. But the study prepared by CAPE, based on information from practising weed program managers, found that the riskier pesticides are simply not needed.

City Hall, St. Catharines, Ontario

In the summer and fall of 2018, CAPE conducted interviews with parks managers in six municipalities across Canada — London, Guelph, St Catharines and Toronto in Ontario, Richmond, BC, and Cape Breton Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia. All cities that participated in the study are operating under either provincial or municipal restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides on lawns and gardens. Some regulations have been in effect for more than 10 years.

The study found that satisfactory levels of weed control can be readily achieved at reasonable cost without the use of prohibited pesticides. How is this possible? Instead of relying on pesticides to suppress weeds, parks managers in these cities have adopted horticultural practices aimed at building and maintaining healthy turf to encourage desired plant growth and discourage weeds. These measures include mowing, aerating, fertilizing, overseeding and top-dressing.

In brief, parks managers who were interviewed for the study reported that:

  • Alternative practices that focus on building healthy soil and turf are effective in controlling weeds, even on sports fields that require maintenance under demanding conditions of use.
  • The cities’ weed control costs have not escalated, but have remained stable. Parks managers reported that priority green spaces of higher use and visibility can be maintained in well-groomed, attractive and functional condition within available budgets without using the banned pesticides.
  • Community residents appear to be satisfied with methods of weed control that do not expose people to toxic pesticides in parks and on sports fields. Managers reported that complaints are minimal.

Cities and towns that are resisting bans on non-essential uses of pesticides, like some in Manitoba and Alberta, can take heart from the experiences of their peers in other municipalities, who are successfully controlling weeds without using the riskier pesticides. The complete report — Municipal Weed Control: Lessons from Ground Zero — is available on CAPE’s web site.

Health at risk: Pesticide regulators are failing Canadians

Regulation of pesticides in Canada lags far behind other countries

(Following are excerpts from a column by Dr. Trevor Hancock, a co-founder of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Dr. Hancock reflects on the problems and consequences of Canada’s flawed system of pesticide regulation. Reprinted by permission of the author. Credit: Victoria Times-Colonist. The full text is on CAPE’s web site. A worthwhile read.)

March 11, 2019 – I cut my environmental-health teeth fighting the pesticide industry and Health Canada in the early 1980s, when I was an associate medical officer of health in the City of Toronto. We were recommending a ban on 2,4-D in the city, on the grounds that controlling dandelions in parks and gardens — known as cosmetic pesticide use — was not worth the potential health effects. I came to an early recognition that the Health Protection Branch of Health Canada functioned more like the industry-protection branch.

Dr. Trevor Hancock

I went on to co-found the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. For years, CAPE has fought to reduce or eliminate both cosmetic and in some cases agricultural pesticide use. It has done so based on evidence, the application of the precautionary principle, and its professional and public-interest concern in protecting health and the environment.

In its work, CAPE and its many community and environmentalist partners have tangled constantly with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, established within Health Canada in 1995. On its website, CAPE notes “gaps and flaws in this review process leave Canadians inadequately protected from health and environmental risks associated with the use of toxic pesticides.”

But CAPE is not alone in its criticism. The federal commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, part of the office of the auditor general, has undertaken three reviews of the agency since 2003, and they disclose some serious flaws. In 2003, the commissioner reported: “Overall, we conclude that the federal government is not managing pesticides effectively. We found weaknesses in many areas … [which] raises serious questions about the overall management of the health and environmental risks associated with pesticides.” But note, this comes after decades of criticism from health and environmental organizations acting in the public interest — and still the PMRA could not get it right.

In fact, for three of the most widely used pesticides in Canada — atrazine, glyphosate and neonicotinoids as a class — we have lower standards and are years, if not decades, behind Europe in protecting the health of Canadians.

Atrazine, a herbicide that is still registered and used in Canada, although declining, was banned in Europe in 2003. Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that is a probable human carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization — but not according to the PMRA, which seems to think it knows better. And neonicotinoids are widely used insecticides that are linked to harm to bees and other beneficial insects. The EU banned them for all outdoor agricultural use from the end of 2018, but the PMRA has taken only small steps to reduce their use.

In their blind pursuit of economic growth and their misplaced confidence in dodgy corporate science, governments turned a blind eye to all the warnings, while we all suffer the consequences.

(Read the complete column on the CAPE web site.)

Why it matters – lessons from the life and work of Sandra Madray

Honouring a committed advocate and researcher who campaigned on behalf of the most vulnerable

SEPTEMBER 2018 – In this heartfelt and personal reflection, Anne Lindsey, a member of Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba, remembers Sandra Madray as a dedicated activist who was resolutely committed to the protection of human health from pesticides and other toxic chemicals in our environment.

Sandra Madray (family photo)

I went to visit a friend and colleague recently — someone I hadn’t seen for a while. Sandra Madray was in the final stages of cancer. She was dying. I was shocked and deeply saddened to see the physical changes the disease had wrought on my beautiful friend. She was so thin, and in so much pain.

Cancer is horrific in every circumstance, but the cruel irony in Sandra’s situation is that she worked much of her adult life in a volunteer capacity to prevent cancer and other illnesses — in particular, those caused by, and associated with, environmental and industrial chemicals.

As a co-founder (with Margaret Friesen) of the local group Chemical Sensitivities Manitoba and an adviser to the national organization Prevent Cancer Now, she participated as a citizen/environmental representative in countless government consultations on laws and regulations regarding chemicals.She sat on the National Stakeholder Advisory Council for the Chemicals Management Plan, and on the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council. She served on the board of the Manitoba Eco-Network for several years, and was active in the Children’s Health and Environment Partnership.

Sandra’s back garden (family photo)

Sandra educated herself (and others) on the science and public policy of chemical exposure and what it means for human health. Studying reams of documents, she did the arduous and often thankless work for which many of us have neither the patience nor the appetite, as we trust hopefully that our governments will make the right decisions in the public interest.

Sandra’s garden (family photo)

Because she did that work, she knew that our hopeful trust is misplaced and that most regulatory decisions about chemicals are not taken with the utmost care to protect health or the environment, but rather lean heavily toward maximizing commercial profits and expedience. She knew that as a result, we inhabit a chemical soup of hazardous exposures to pesticides, cosmetics, plastics, vehicle and power plant emissions and other byproducts of the hydrocarbon society.

Sandra’s cancer may or may not have been attributable to environmental or workplace exposures, but many cancers are, and in all those cases, the pain and suffering, the unmitigated sadness and loss for family and friends are probably preventable.

Always kind, generous and with good humour and deep conviction, Sandra used her knowledge to advocate tirelessly for better solutions to society’s problems. She campaigned especially for the most vulnerable — for children, the elderly, the chemically sensitive (of which she was one) and the immune-compromised. A quiet warrior, she never sought special recognition for her work.

Sandra’s garden (family photo)

Some of the efforts she engaged in were successful — one recent example being the Manitoba law to prohibit many chemical pesticides in lawn care. With her own urban yard — an oasis of gorgeous native plants, buzzing and bright with butterflies and pollinators — as an example of better, healthful solutions for green space management, she worked with a coalition of groups to end unnecessary exposures to so-called “cosmetic” pesticides, some of which are linked in epidemiological studies to a variety of diseases, including cancer, respiratory and neurological/developmental problems.

When Manitoba joined numerous other provinces in legislating against lawn chemicals, it was a small but significant step forward in preventive medicine.

It is beyond sad that in Manitoba, it now seems destined to be reversed. Even though recent polling shows most Manitobans consider pesticide-free to be the best approach, powerful forces support chemical solutions for weed control, and they appear to have the ear of the current government behind the scenes. Possibly acting on inside knowledge, one lawn company owner was quoted in Home Décor and Renovations magazine as saying that the regulation would be amended for 2019, and that he was optimistic that it would allow “licensed lawn care professionals to resume the use of more effective weed control products.” We can only surmise that he was referring to substances such as 2,4-D, dicamba and mecoprop.

Sandra’s front garden (family photo)

As citizens, not only must we make every effort to avoid unnecessary products like cosmetic pesticides and scents, we must also continue to encourage our government not to take this terribly backward step. In fact, it would actually be more appropriate to strengthen the law by adding glyphosate-based compounds, such as Roundup, a weed-control product with links to cancer, to the list of prohibited substances. Roundup’s sordid history of coverups by its manufacturer, including the fact that its carcinogenic properties were long known about and hidden, is steadily being revealed in court challenges brought by cancer victims.

Sandra’s garden (family photo)

Sandra will not be with us to see a possible reversal of the policy that she contributed to, and once again, have to endure the impacts of lawn pesticides on her chemically sensitive body. But if this change of policy comes to pass, so many will be affected, including the children and all the other vulnerable people she worked so hard to protect.How many of them will have to get sick and perhaps die before a clean, common-sense and precautionary approach to green spaces is adopted once and for all in Manitoba? For Sandra Madray’s sake, let this number be zero.

Sandra passed away on August 17 at 68 with her husband, Winston, and family members at her side.


Anne Lindsey is a former executive director of the Manitoba Eco-Network, a long-time activist on health and environmental issues, and a research associate with the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

 

US court rules weed-killer caused California man’s cancer

Over 4,000 pesticide-related US lawsuits pending against manufacturer Monsanto

AUGUST 2018 – An American court has awarded damages totaling US$289-million to a California school district groundskeeper who claimed that exposure to the pesticide glyphosate resulted in his developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The decision is a major setback for Monsanto, maker of the popular glyphosate-based herbicide, Roundup. The company is facing more than 4,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

Introduced by Monsanto in 1974, glyphosate is extensively used in agriculture and forestry, as well as for weed control on lawns and in gardens (where permitted).

Creative Commons

The California jury, which was shown internal company documents, found that Monsanto had failed to fully warn users of its glyphosate-based products about the health risks associated with their use. The successful plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, is not expected to recover from his illness.

Monsanto denies that its products are responsible. Bayer, which recently purchased Monsanto, said it will appeal the verdict.

MORE – CBC News report

Update – February 2021:  Following the 2018 US court decision, Bayer (owner of Monsanto) launched a series of aggressive appeals. The verdict in Dewayne Johnson’s case was sustained, but the damages that had been originally awarded were reduced. In late 2020, Dewayne Johnson finally received a settlement of $20.5-million. Meanwhile, Bayer has agreed to settle thousands of other similar claims for nearly $11-billion (US). Glyphosate-based products remain on the market. Mr. Johnson continues to struggle with his illness.

2016 poll shows majority of Manitobans support cosmetic pesticide ban

Manitobans favour restrictions on cosmetic pesticides

SEPTEMBER 2016 – By a clear majority – 53 per cent to 42 per cent – Manitobans want to maintain the current provincial ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides, according to a 2016 province-wide poll by Probe Research. (Five per cent of those polled did not respond or expressed no opinion.) Among Winnipeggers, support is even stronger: 55 per cent of city respondents say they favour the existing pesticide ban, compared to 38 per cent who are opposed, with 7 per cent not responding.

The survey of 1,000 Manitobans was conducted in September 2016. Results for the province are accurate within 3.1 per cent.

Prairie rose mallow (CPBM photo)

The Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba (CPBM) working group notes that health risks associated with these toxic chemicals greatly outweigh the purported benefits of their use. “Maintaining the ban on non-essential pesticide use is prudent, rational and in the best interest of public health,” said Neil Bailey, spokesperson for CPBM.

review of pesticide health studies, conducted by the Ontario College of Family Physicians, found that pesticides are linked to a variety of childhood and adult cancers, adverse reproductive outcomes, developmental deficits among children, and adverse respiratory outcomes.  The review found that pregnant women, babies and young children are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of pesticides.

“When it comes to pesticide use, it is evident that Manitobans want to protect the health of children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people,” said Karen Peters, a member of CPBM. “A majority of people do not want to see changes in the current pesticide regulations.”

Groups supporting a ban on non-essential pesticide use include the Canadian Cancer Society, Manitoba Lung Association, Manitoba Eco-Network, Green Action Centre, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Nature Manitoba and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.

Manitoba’s cosmetic pesticide legislation came into effect in 2015 with amendments to The Environment Act and approval of a provincial regulation. As of November 2016, seven provinces in Canada have enacted restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides.

Why Manitoba’s cosmetic pesticide ban should be maintained

Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba Position Paper: “Restricting Non-Essential Uses of Pesticides in Manitoba”

Keep playing fields safe for kids. (Bill Branson, public domain)

November 2016 – Below is a link to a brief prepared by Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba in 2016, explaining why our group supports maintaining Manitoba’s current ban on cosmetic uses of pesticides. The original brief was filed with the Province of Manitoba as part of their public consultation process in September 2016. The paper was subsequently updated as of November 1, 2016. A list of local and national organizations supporting a ban on cosmetic uses of pesticides is included. Of course, since 2016 when this brief was prepared, additional studies have been published identifying further adverse health impacts associated with human exposure to pesticides.

Link to CPBM Position Paper:

Restricting Non-Essential Uses Of Pesticides in Manitoba  (November 2016)

Cosmetic pesticide regulations across Canada: a survey (2016)

80 per cent of Canadians are protected by cosmetic pesticide restrictions: Manitoba ranked 3rd best in country

In 2016, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) released a report providing a detailed overview and critique of cosmetic pesticide regulation in Canada at the provincial and municipal levels. As of 2018, seven provinces currently have regulations restricting cosmetic uses of pesticides. Elsewhere, some municipalities (Vancouver, for example) have bylaws where there is no province-wide law.

Yellow iris (CPBM photo)

CAPE’s report outlines the different government responsibilities for pesticide regulation at federal, provincial and municipal levels; compares the various versions of current regulations and bylaws that are in place across the country; brings together information on provincial best practices; and makes suggestions on how pest management can be improved. There is also a scorecard ranking provinces’ cosmetic pesticide laws. Manitoba’s existing restrictions in their present form are rated third-best in the country. Among provinces with cosmetic pesticide bans, no province has subsequently taken steps to loosen their regulations.


Link to the report:
Pesticides-Policy-Report-FINAL

A backgrounder to the report:
Backgrounder-Pesticide-Policy-Report-FINAL