Pesticide education key: chair
By John Kurucz, Coquitlam NOW May 20, 2011 3:01 AM
Committee chair Linda Reimer told The NOW Thursday that the majority of the nine-member committee appears to be leaning toward implementing a ban, though questions around enforcement, definitions, overlap and staff resources remain.
Reimer noted the city would likely need to roll out a lengthy educational component regardless of the bylaw's future. She added that education would be the primary thrust as opposed to widespread ticketing.
"Unfortunately these bylaws are very difficult to enforce, there's no doubt," she said. "However, we're not looking so much at enforcement as we are the value of both providing an educational component and having the bylaw. Education will always be the preferable route before you actually levy a fine to somebody."
Rolling out that educational component would be a job in and of itself — literally. Reimer said an extra city staffer may need to be hired to monitor and educate the public when and if a ban comes into place.
"There is going to be a cost. Some municipalities have a full-time person employed with the intention of educating residents about the use of cosmetic pesticides and regulation," she said.
The bylaw must also define what a cosmetic pesticide is, and in which circumstances they could be used, if any. Reimer said that some municipalities allow the use of certain pesticides in situations where properties are overrun by infestations. In that context, a city staff member would assess the situation and permit a licensed professional to address the problem.
The issue of ensuring harmony with other city regulations — namely the unsightly premises bylaw — was also brought up Wednesday.
"If somebody has what somebody else might consider an unsightly premises, it may be unsightly because it has weeds growing up and maybe that's because they're not using pesticides, so the two bylaws have to be harmonious together," Reimer said.
Wednesday's discussion came one day after the David Suzuki Foundation issued a study comparing pesticide regulations across the country.
The report points to province-wide bans in Ontario and Nova Scotia as the gold standards across the country.
"In both cases, the ban is structured in reference to a credible list of allowed products and lower risk products, and then all other pesticides are banned for cosmetic use on lawns and gardens," said Lisa Gue, the foundation's environmental health policy analyst.
Other than those two provinces, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Alberta also have some form of cosmetic pesticide bans in place.
"In those provinces, there's a specific, discrete list of banned chemicals and then all others are allowed," Gue said. "The important advantage in Ontario and Nova Scotia is that the bans extend beyond lawn-care pesticides. They cover garden pesticides that can be used for other things, like shrubs for example."
Given the work done in Ontario and Nova Scotia, it's the foundation's belief that no time should be wasted in implementing a similar ban in B.C., a point that both Premier Christy Clark and members of the NDP have come out in support of as recently as two weeks ago.
"It's no longer a matter of inventing the wheel here," Gue said.
Coquitlam's sustainability and environment committee will meet again on June 14, while a recommendation to council — either for or against a ban — is expected by June 30.
- Council Urged to Ban Use of Pesticides – Opinion 250 – News for Northern and Central Interior of British Columbia, Canada
- Canadian Cancer Society Secures another Pesticide Ban with MisInformation [Secret Evidence] — Golden Star – Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw takes effect in April
- Canadian Cancer Society Medical Expert on Pesticides [Secret Evidence] – The Tri-City News – PoCo ponders a pesticide ban
- BCLocalNews.com – Coquitlam pesticide ban delayed
- Revelstoke Times Review – Revelstoke cosmetic pesticide ban bylaw unveiled
- David Suzuki Foundation and Equiterre – BAN Golf Courses Provincially – Qeubec Pesticide law needs a tune-up
- Exposed: Misinformed – Brittney Parks Canadian Cancer Society – Gotay Letter [Secret Evidence] – The Tri-City News – Anti-pesticide push coming to Coquitlam
- BCLocalNews.com – City ponders pesticide ban [CCS says (secret) Evidence supporting a link]
- BCLocalNews.com – City environment coordinator says pesticides bylaw ‘strong’
- Terrace BC – Sustainability Coordinator Tara Irwin Drafts Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw for City Council