EDMONTON – Alberta won't follow Ontario's move to restrict the use of a pesticide linked to bee deaths.
On Monday, Ontario's Liberal government confirmed that it is seeking to limit the use of neonicotinoids, also known as neonics, a type of pesticide that scientists say is linked to colony collapse disorder in bees.
In June, a panel of 50 scientists comprising the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides — affiliated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature — said the pesticide disorients bees, interfering with their homing abilities.
"The evidence is very clear. We are witnessing a threat to the productivity of our natural and farmed environment equivalent to that posed by organophosphates or DDT," said Dr Jean-Marc Bonmatin of the National Centre for Scientific Research in France, one of the lead authors of the study.
"The use of neonics is threatening the very infrastructure which enables it, imperilling the pollinators, habitat engineers and natural pest controllers at the heart of a functioning ecosystem."
Last December, the European Union voted to ban the use of neonics for two years.
In Alberta, neonicotinoids are used in agriculture, landscaping and "occasionally for domestic use with pet flea and tick control", said Environment and Sustainable Resource Development spokesperson Carrie Sancartier.
"Alberta is not considering a ban on neoncotinoids at this time but we are working with the federal government and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development to review the issue of bees declining," she said.