By a wide margin, Manitobans say they want to maintain restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides.
November 23, 2022 – A province-wide poll by Prairie Research Associates found 52 per cent of respondents in favour of keeping the ban on cosmetic pesticides, while just 34 per cent said they were opposed to the ban, and 14 percent expressed no opinion. The survey of 800 Manitobans was conducted between October 3 and November 7, 2022. Results are accurate within 3.5 percentage points.
In Winnipeg, support for pesticide restrictions was even stronger, with 57 per cent in favour of keeping the ban and only 30 per cent opposed. Thirteen per cent expressed no opinion.
Notably, across the province, in every demographic category (age, gender, income, education), the proportion of survey respondents favouring pesticide restrictions was higher than the proportion of those opposed. (See detailed poll results.) Among respondents who hold an opinion, the overall margin of 18 points (52-34) in favour of the ban is decisive.
PROVINCE NOT LISTENING
On November 3, 2022, the provincial government passed a bill rolling back Manitoba’s cosmetic pesticide restrictions, allowing lawn care companies, municipalities and homeowners to resume using previously banned pesticides.
Survey results indicate that the government is out of touch with the majority of Manitobans on this issue. People want to be protected from unnecessary exposure to pesticides. Repealing the ban increases risks to public health, especially children’s health.
No other province in Canada has taken such a backward step. Allowing the use of toxic lawn pesticides is going to increase chemical runoff into waterways, harm essential pollinators and increase risks for pets and other animals. Green spaces can be well-managed at reasonable cost without using the riskier pesticides.
Both public and expert opinion in Manitoba favour keeping cosmetic pesticide restrictions. In June, a coalition of more than 30 health and environmental organizations appealed to the province to maintain the cosmetic pesticide ban. The group included the Manitoba College of Family Physicians, Manitoba Health Coalition, Manitoba Public Health Association, Learning Disabilities Association of Manitoba, Canadian Environmental Law Association, David Suzuki Foundation, and Winnipeg Humane Society.
Now that the Province has revoked the cosmetic pesticide ban, Manitobans will have to turn to municipal councils to pass local bylaws to protect public health and the environment from unnecessary pesticide risks.