City Hall wants BC Ban

Elected officials representing
cities and towns across BC
have repeatedly
requested
that the Province
pass legislation
to ban
the sale and use
of cosmetic pesticides.

In September 2009,
the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) resolved that:

“WHEREAS residents of
the Province of British Columbia
are increasingly requesting
their local governments
to ban the use
of cosmetic pesticides
within their boundaries
in order
to mitigate concerns
that these pesticides
present a threat
to the environment,
children, pets and
personal health; . . . 

“AND WHEREAS
the Community Charter
does not give communities
the legislative authority
to ban
the sale of pesticides,
only to regulate their use:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
that
the Province of British Columbia
enact provincial legislation
that will
ban
the sale and use
of cosmetic pesticides
province-wide.”
 
For the complete 2009 Resolution B38, click here.

Also see 2008
Resolutions B81 and B82.

BC's Environment Minister Lake championed Resolution B81 while Mayor of Kamloops.

BC Babies At Greatest Risk

"At regular intervals,
new evidence
comes forward
citing the link
between pesticides
and cancer, 
birth defects,
and neurological illness,

The bulk of the evidence
shows that
children
- especially babies
still in the womb,
are
at greatest risk."

Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE)
June 4, 2010 News Release
in support of BC ban.

IEPMA Opposes BC Ban

"It is my belief that
both homeowners
and professional
applicator companies
should be able
to use any
pest control product
that has been registered
by Health Canada
as safe to use when
label recommendations
are followed." 

On-line Petition
to BC Government's
2009 public consultation.

Integrated Environmental
Plant Management Assoc.


For more on industry's opposition
to a BC ban, click here.

Unnecessary Risk

"The government 
believes 
the use of pesticides 
to control
weeds and insects 
for purely 
cosmetic reasons 
presents an 
unnecessary risk 
to our families and pets,
especially when 
we can have 
healthier
lawns and gardens 
without chemicals."

Ontario Ministry of the
Environment Pesticide website.

Pesticide Free Richmond

In April 2009,
Richmond's Council
rejected
the medical health officer's
opinion
that pesticides
do not pose
a cancer risk,
 if used properly. 

For the
Earth Day 2009
rejection of Richmond's
"pay to spray"
draft bylaw,
click here.

For the Oct 13, 2009
precautionary bylaw, click here.

Print "Pesticide Free" Poster

poster

Click on image
to print this poster.
Put it up in your
neighbourhood.

Together, let's make
BC pesticide free!

Help BC go Pesticide Free!

The Canadian Cancer Society
continues to lead BC's
health and environmental
groups' advocacy for a
province-wide ban.

See Coalition's Feb 3, 2012
ban statement.

Review ban legislation
given to BC's Environment
Minister in 2010.

Join the CCS's "Pesticide Free
BC" Facebook discussions.

Take action! to help BC
go pesticide free.
BC Bylaws Don't Protect
Pesticide bylaws do not really protect any BC resident for three reasons:
  • First, bylaws apply only to municipal and residential lands.

    Local governments can only regulate pesticide use on residential and municipal lands.

    This authority is based on BC's Community Charter Sections 8 (3) (i) and (j) and 9 (1) and BC Reg. 144/2004, the Charter's Spheres of Concurrent Jurisdiction Environment and Wildlife Regulation Section 2 (1) (b) (ii).

    Bylaws do not cover other private lands, including institutional, industrial and commercial properties . . . our day cares, school yards, parks, sports fields, golf courses, educational campuses.

    BCers are unknowningly exposed to pesticides when on, or near, these areas unless the land owner has voluntarily stopped using pesticides.

    Stopping pesticide use on all private and public properties is a provincial responsibility. 
  • Second, non-essential lawn and garden pesticides continue to be sold in BC stores.

    Some BC stores, like The Home Depot and Rona, have shown leadership and voluntarily stopped selling cosmetic pesticides in some communities and offer less toxic alternatives.

    Others big retailers, like Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and Walmart, continue to sell these products in BC . . . ones they can no longer sell in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.

    The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) is very aware that local governments cannot control the sale of pesticide products.

    In 2008 and 2009, the UBCM passed resolutions asking for the provincial Government to ban the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides province-wide. 

    BC's Environment Minister, Dr. Terry Lake, championed the 2008 Resolution B81 when Mayor of Kamloops.

    See "City Hall Wants BC Ban" left sidebar.

    The Western Canada Wilderness Committee has also highlighted why a BC ban is needed to close this legal "loophole".

    Stopping the sale of pesticides is a provincial responsibility.
  • Third, the effectiveness of bylaws is limited by provincial laws.

    BC's Weed Control Act requires that property owners control designated noxious weeds.  This includes home owners throughout BC.  All BC pesticide bylaws allow pesticide use for noxious weeds.

    The effectiveness of bylaws is further limited by the Community Charter's Spheres of Concurrent Jurisdiction Environment and Wildlife Regulation as municipalities cannot override BC Reg. 144/2004.

    This includes the use of pesticides to protect sensitive ecosystems (which makes NO sense, given how harmful pesticides are).

    Concurrent responsibilities must be changed by the provincial government to ensure all British Columbians and the environment are protected from harmful, non-essential pesticides.

Is Your Family under a Bylaw?
Almost two thirds of British Columbians (65%) live in 40 communities with a cosmetic pesticide bylaw.

Almost a third of BCers (31%) live in 19 "better protection" communities where pesticide use is banned on residential and municipal lands.

Just over a third of BCers (34%) live in 21 communities where "not recommended" bylaws allow continued pesticide use by permit or exemption, including Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.

The remaining 35% of BCers who are outside these bylaw communities live without rules restricting pesticide use.

Does your family,  and others you care about, have some protection from pesticide exposure under a bylaw?
 
The forty bylaw communities are located . . .
  • in the Lower Mainland (18 bylaws)
  • on Vancouver Island (10 bylaws)
  • on the Sunshine Coast (2 bylaws)
  • in the Thompson/Okanagan (3 bylaws)
  • in the Kootenays/Columbia Basin (6 bylaws)
  • in North Western BC (1 bylaw)
See "BC's 40 Bylaws" top right sidebar.

Not Recommended Bylaws
Be wary if your family or friends live in one of these 21 “not recommended” bylaw communities:

Burnaby, Cumberland, Fernie, Gibsons, Golden, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley (City), Maple Ridge, Nelson, New Westminster, North Vancouver (City), North Vancouver (District), Oak Bay, Port Moody, Saanich, Salmon Arm, Sechelt, Surrey, Victoria and West Vancouver (District).

More than half of BC's bylaws allow for continued pesticide use under these conditions: 
  • Pesticides can continue to be used on municipal lands, including sports fields and playgrounds . . . in Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley (City), North Vancouver (City and District), Oak Bay, Saanich, Salmon Arm, Sechelt, Surrey and Victoria.
  • Pesticide use can continue by permitted exemption  . . . in Fernie, Gibsons, Golden, Maple Ridge, Nelson, North Vancouver (City and District), Oak Bay and Sechelt.
  • Residents can hire licensed IPM applicators to apply pesticides.

    "Pay to spray" is not a ban as this approach allows continued pest use through IPM practices  . . . in Langley (City), Kamloops, Kelowna and Sechelt.
  • Pesticide use is allowed for "hardened surfaces" like patios, driveways and sidewalks . . . in Burnaby, Cumberland, Delta, Golden, Kamloops, Langley (City), Maple Ridge, Port Moody, Salmon Arm, Surrey, Victoria and West Vancouver (District).
Not recommended bylaws usually set out these conditions for allowed (or exempted) pesticide use:
  • Signs must be posted for date and time of a pending pesticide application and for post-application “stay off” warnings.
  • Distance limitations for an application from specified facilities are established (usually for day cares, playgrounds, schools, bus stops, senior citizen residences, hospitals) and bodies of water.
  • Suitable weather conditions for a pesticide application are specified (usually wind and temperature limitations).
  • A “Pesticide Permit Application” usually must be submitted to obtain prior approval to use pesticides. The permit form is attached as a bylaw schedule.
As private turf facilities (including golf courses) are not subject to pesticide bylaws, exemption of these facilities is not used when classifying bylaws as "not recommended". 

As not all municipalities own or operate turf facilities, exemption of public turf facilities is also not used when classifying bylaws. 

Turf facilities are specifically exempted in 10 bylaw communities: Cumberland, Esquimalt, Kimberley, Maple Ridge, Nelson, Qualicum Beach, Revelstoke, Richmond, Salmon Arm and Whistler.

Better Protection Bylaws
There is better protection for your loved ones in they live in one of these 19 communities as residential and municipal pesticide use is banned in . . .
Comox, Coquitlam, Courtenay, Delta, Esquimalt, Harrison Hot Springs, Invermere, Kimberley, Nanaimo, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Qualicum Beach, Revelstoke, Richmond, Terrace, Tofino, Vancouver (City), Whistler and White Rock.
The bylaw is usually short, easy to understand and sets out these prudent conditions:
  • Cosmetic pesticide use is banned within municipal boundaries – on public lands (municipal property) and private lands (residential property). 
  • Permitted, less-toxic pesticides are identified. This is based on Schedule 2 of BC’s IPM Act and listed in an attached schedule. 
  • Pesticides are allowed for the protection of human health and public safety, including swimming pool maintenance, water purification and animal infestations.
  • Violations are based on complaints with fines.
  • Implementation dates are usually phased: first for public lands, then for private lands. 
  • The ban excludes agricultural, institutional, commercial or industrial properties (like day cares, school grounds, golf courses, university campuses, multi residential buildings and your gas station’s flower beds).

    Municipalities cannot regulate pesticide use on these properties so residents may be exposed when on, or near, these properties. Private land owners may voluntarily stop using pesticides.
This patchwork of differing protection from harmful pesticide use is why provincial legislation is needed to protect all British Columbians.

Need Bylaw and Education Program
To be effective, a bylaw needs to be accompanied by an education program to help the community become "pesticide free" and get lawns and gardens off drugs.

See the 2004 "Best Practices Review" of pesticide reduction initiatives.
 
Be wary of "plant health" and "plant science" education programs and their use of IPM.

"Pesticide Free" programs are healthier and safer for your children, your pets and the environment.

See right sidebars . . . "PF Municipal Programs" and  "Healthy NS Education Info".

For more  info on . . .
  • BC's 40 bylaws and education programs, click here.
  • For the more than 100 groups, organizations, local governments and school districts that have Pesticide Free initiatives throughout BC, click here.
  • Industry opposition to pesticide laws, except those that allow continued IPM pesticide use, click here.
  • For lower risk pesticides and sustainable land care practices, click here.

  • Why BC needs a strong "no IPM" ban (like Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec) and why this won't happen under the BC Liberals, click here.
  • To advocate for strong ban legislation in BC, click here.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2013 14:33
 

Tell Premier Clark she needs to honour her 2011 pesticide ban commitment.

Call the Premier's office at 250 387 1715 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Together, let's make BC pesticide free.

                                                                                   
 


BC's 40 Bylaws

Burnaby*
Comox
Coquitlam
Courtenay
Cumberland*
Delta
Esquimalt
Fernie*
Gibsons*
Golden*
Harrison Hot Springs
Invermere
Kamloops*
Kelowna*
Kimberley
Langley (City)*
Maple Ridge*
Nanaimo
Nelson*
New Westminster* 
North Vancouver (City)*
North Van (District)*
Oak Bay*
Pitt Meadows
Port Moody*
Port Coquitlam 
Qualicum Beach
Revelstoke
Richmond
Saanich*
Salmon Arm*
Sechelt*
Surrey*
Terrace
Tofino
Vancouver
Victoria*
West Van (District)*
Whistler
White Rock
 
* Not recommended due to
continued pesticide use
by exemption, IPM or permit.

PF Municipal Programs

BC has many excellent
pesticide free
municipal education 
programs including . . . 

The Lower Mainland's
North Shore
GardenSmart program

and the City of Richmond
hold very successful
organic yard & lawn care
workshops.

The Regional District
of Nanaimo's
Team Watersmart

Kelowna's
Pesticide Free initiatives
include Healthy Yard tips
You Tube videos and
pesticide free workshops.

Revelstoke has terrific info 
on landscaping problems, 
less toxic pesticides
and 
natural solutions in their
Environmentally Friendly Pesticides brochure.

Vancouver Island’s 
Capital Regional District 
Pesticide Use 
Reduction Education

includes a sign 
so neighbours know 
your lawn is safe 
for their children and pets.

For more on BC's
40 bylaws and educational
programs, click here.

Healthy NS Education Info

"This education campaign
will provide Nova Scotians
with healthy
lawn-care alternatives."

Department of Environment's  
"Healthy Lawns for a
Healthier Nova Scotia"
March 22, 2011
News Release.

Ont Ban Reduces Risk

"You can have
a healthy lawn and garden
without
the unnecessary risk
posed by using
conventional pesticides
for purely
cosmetic reasons."

Minister of the Environment's
April 21, 2010
News Release on first anniversary of Ontario's ban.

No Ban for BC

"The majority
of the committee
does not think
the scientific evidence,
at this time,
warrants
an outright ban."

Don't ban cosmetic pesticides, B.C. MLAs recommend
May 17 2012
CBC News Post.

See Special Committee
on Cosmetic Pesticides
May 17, 2012 News Release
and Report.

See Clark Government's
February 20, 2013
minor legislative changes
for mandatory IPM
on residential lawns
. . . the only action
taken by the Liberals.

The sale and use of
cosmetic pesticides
will not be banned in BC.

Premier Breaks Ban Promise

“It’s hard to imagine
how the premier
could believe
that
these dangerous pesticides
increase the likelihood
of
childhood cancer
and do so little
to prevent
unnecessary exposure
to them.”

Premier breaks promise
to protect children
and the environment
from cosmetic pesticides.


Rob Fleming, New Democrat
Environment critic
February 21, 2013 Release.

New Democrats Want Ban

For a fifth time,
New Democrats
introduced legislation
to ensure pesticides
"are no longer used
cosmetically
on playgrounds,
lawns, parks
and
the other places
where children play.”

New Democrat
March 7 2013 News Release
on Bill M207
Cosmetic Use of Pesticides Control Act, 2013.