Ontario pesticide ban one of the toughest in N.A.


The Province of Ontario has put into place one of the most stringent bans in North America for the cosmetic use of pesticides. It officially begins next month on April 22, 2009, Earth Day and has been heralded by health and environmental organizations as a giant leap forward in protecting both citizens and their environs against hazardous chemicals.

The provincial ban overrides municipal pesticide bylaws, protecting all Ontarians, not just those in some communities. It also establishes one clear set of rules, which makes it easier for Ontario businesses to follow.

The following is from the Government of Ontario's website regarding the recent announcement to ban cosmetic pesticide usage in the Province:

"... Going into affect on Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Ontario’s lawns, gardens, school yards and parks will begin to become a lot healthier.The McGuinty government believes the use of pesticides to control pesky weeds and insects for purely cosmetic reasons is an unnecessary risk to our families and pets, especially when you can have a healthier lawn and garden without chemicals.
We have listened to medical experts – like the Canadian Cancer Society – who have made a convincing case for reducing our exposure to pesticides, particularly children who are generally more susceptible to the potential toxic effects of pesticides.

The ban is part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to protect families, especially children from pollution and toxic chemicals through tough new environmental laws ...".

Gideon Forman instrumental in Provincial Pesticide Ban for Spring, 2009

Gideon Forman, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), who spoke about pesticide use in Southampton last summer, says that, "We're delighted the government has listened to our doctors and nurses and introduced a ban on lawn and garden pesticides. We still need to ensure the regulations are good and strong, but Ontario is now positioning itself to be a North American leader in this area."

(next column)

14/03/2009 07:06 PM

A pesticide-free lawn in Southampton

Jan Kasperski, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario College of Family Physicians adds that, "The Ontario College of Family Physicians also solidly supports a province-wide ban on the use of cosmetic pesticides. Our research demonstrates the many health effects associated with pesticides. On behalf of our most vulnerable patients, the children of this province, we are pleased to hear that government has moved so quickly to develop this important legislation."

With over 200 chemicals now considered banned, very little room is left for doubt as to whether or not a product is considered harmful. Not only will it be illegal to use pesticides for cosmetic purposes but it will also be illegal to sell by definition ...

  • “pesticide” means any organism, substance or thing that is manufactured, represented,
  • sold or used as a means of directly or indirectly controlling, preventing, destroying,
  • mitigating, attracting or repelling any pest or of altering the growth, development or
  • characteristics of any plant life that is not a pest and includes any organism, substance or thing registered under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA, Canada)"

Alternatives that can be purchased and used are biopesticides (e.g., micro-organisms that control pests, such as the bacterial insecticide spray used to control Gypsy moths) and lower risk pesticides (such as acetic acid) to manage weeds, insects and plant diseases. Pesticides must be used in accordance with their label.

For a complete guide to pesticide use and the act that has been passed, go here

Be sure to read

Tips for Healthy Lawns

Tips for Healthy Gardens


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