CAPE provided expert testimony to city committees when council was debating the bylaw.
Healthy Guelph Media Releases Supreme Court rejects pesticide by-law appeal November 17, 2005 Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, is pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a challenge to the City’s by-law restricting the use of pesticides. Crop Life Canada, a trade association that includes pesticide producers, had sought to appeal a unanimous Ontario Court of Appeal decision upholding the City’s authority to adopt a by-law restricting pesticide use. The Supreme Court today denied Crop Life’s application for leave to appeal, ending legal challenges to the by-law. “The courts have consistently supported the right of municipalities to pass laws protecting the health and safety of residents. The Supreme Court’s decision refusing to hear the appeal has affirmed the City’s program to minimize the non-essential use of pesticides,” said Dr. McKeown. Toronto Public Health launched a “Go Natural” education campaign last spring promoting tips for pesticide-free lawn and garden care. The campaign continued this fall and will be promoted again in the spring of 2006. The phase-in of the by-law enforcement began this year. For commercial pesticide applicators and commercial property owners, warnings are issued for first-time non-compliance. Following this, a ticket or summons may be issued. Homeowners and renters may be fined for non-compliance starting in September 2007. The “Go Natural” campaign and other by-law information materials are available on the City’s Web site at http://www.toronto.ca/health. Residents can call 416-338-7600 for gardening tips. Media contact: Gil Hardy Toronto Public Health 416-338-787
Canada’s top court rejects final pesticide industry challenge – Groups ecstatic as City of Toronto pesticide by-law withstands final legal assault November 17, 2005 TORONTO – The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it has rejected the pesticide industry’s last gasp effort to challenge the City of Toronto’s pesticide by-law. The bylaw was passed in order to reduce the non-essential use of pesticides within the city and was appealed by Croplife Canada, an industry association that represents the manufacturers and applicators of pesticide products. Croplife lost in the lower court and at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and today the Supreme Court announced that it will not hear Croplife’s appeal, thus ending the challenge. Sierra Legal Defence Fund and Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) represented a broad coalition of interveners in the case, including the Toronto Environmental Alliance, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Sierra Club of Canada, Environmental Defence, and Ontario College of Family Physicians. “Canada’s top court has once again confirmed that communities have the right to pass bylaws to protect the health of their citizens and their environment,” said Justin Duncan, lawyer with Sierra Legal Defence Fund. “Other Ontario municipalities now have a clear green light to consider passing similar by-laws.” The Toronto pesticide by-law was closely patterned after a similar by-law passed by the Town of Hudson, Quebec fourteen years ago. That by-law was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2001 in a landmark decision that strongly endorsed the power of municipal governments to restrict the use of pesticides within their communities. “This is a another great victory for the environment and public health, and the ability for municipalities to act in a precautionary way,” said Paul Muldoon, Executive Director of CELA. “This is a truly great day for municipalities in Ontario.” “Lawns, gardens and parks can be maintained without chemical pesticides,” said Julia Langer of WWF Canada, who is also a Director of the Organic Landscape Alliance. “Municipalities are simply responding to peoples’ concerns for the environment and their health. Instead of using the legal system to filibuster legitimate local bylaws, the lawn-care sector should wake up, smell the pesticide-free roses and go organic.” “It has been a long road, but the pesticide industry has played their last card and lost,” observed Katrina Miller, campaigner for the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). “A local community’s right to protect children’s health and the environment has prevailed once again.” For further information please contact: Theresa McClenaghan, CELA: 519.755.7579 (cell) Justin Duncan, Sierra Legal: 416.368.7533 ext. 22 Julia Langer, WWF Canada: 416.484.7709 Katrina Miller, TEA: 416.596.0660 Sierra Legal (www.sierralegal.org) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to environmental justice
Doctors Applaud Supreme Court Pesticide Decision November 17, 2005 TORONTO-The Supreme Court of Canada’s refusal to hear a challenge to Toronto’s pesticide bylaw is a victory for public health right across the country, says the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). CAPE says the Court’s decision – which means the bylaw’s legal validity can no longer be questioned – should empower other municipalities to pass similar legislation. “This is a great day for people’s health and a great day for our drinking water, rivers, and aquatic life,” said CAPE’s Executive Director Gideon Forman. “Lawn pesticides are a significant threat to human safety, particularly the safety of children. The Supreme Court’s decision means the residents of Toronto will continue to enjoy protection from these poisons.” CAPE provided expert testimony to city committees when council was debating the bylaw. The bylaw — which forbids pesticide use except in certain limited situations — was previously upheld by the Ontario Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal. “The doctors are urging cities which have not passed a pesticide bylaw to take strength from today’s decision and pass one as quickly as possible,” said Forman. “Otherwise, come Spring their residents will again be exposed to chemicals linked to birth defects, neurological disease, and leukemia. There are so many non-toxic lawn products now available, pesticides simply aren’t needed.” CAPE is a national organization representing hundreds of medical doctors from coast to coast. It takes a rigorous, science-based approach in its educational and public advocacy work. For more information Gideon Forman, Executive Director (416) 306-2273 firstname.lastname@example.org