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N.S. to ban sale of many lawn, garden pesticides


May 5, 2010
By Michael Tutton The Canadian Press

May 5, 2010, Halifax – Nova
Scotians
won’t be permitted to buy or apply many types of pesticides on their
lawns
beginning next spring.



May 5, 2010, Halifax – Nova Scotians
won’t be permitted to buy or apply many types of pesticides on their lawns
beginning next spring. Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau introduced a
bill on Tuesday that would create a list of “low-risk’’ pesticides allowed for
use on lawns, shrubs, residential trees and flowers. The lawn care ban would
begin next year, while the ban on pesticide used for shrubs, trees and flowers
would begin in 2012.

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“In this modern day, many recognize
the wisdom in moving away from using pesticides in this way. We are making that
same wise choice for our province,’’ said Belliveau. The bill reflects similar
steps taken in Quebec. Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have
also passed restrictions.

Nova Scotia issued a discussion
paper and sought input from the public over the winter on forbidding the use
and sale of non-essential chemicals for cosmetic lawn care purposes. Belliveau
said about 80 per cent of 1,700 submissions called for a ban.

The criteria for deciding which
low-risk pesticides will be allowed in the province will be written into
regulation this fall and then a list of permitted pesticides will be chosen.
Among the products that would be permitted are: corn glutens, used to smother
weeds; acedic acid, also known as 
horticultural vinegar; and various herbicidal and insecticidal soaps.

David Thompson, president of Weedman
in Nova Scotia, said the landscaping and weed-control industry will watch
carefully to see how the province chooses the permitted products, but he was
pleased Belliveau promised to consult with the industry in drawing up its list
of permitted substances.

“We support legislation that
protects the health of Nova Scotians, but for our industry it’s all about
having clear guidelines on what products we’re allowed to use, having input on
that and making sure those guidelines are based on science,’’ he said.

Thompson said there is ample Health
Canada research indicating the safety of various products, and the province
should take that into account. “We just want to know what products are going to
pass muster and what rules are going to apply to what passes muster.’’

Chris Benjamin of the Ecology Action
Centre said his group was generally pleased with the legislation because it
places a ban on the sale of pesticides. “It sounds like a lot of what we
want,’’ he said. “Banning the sale is a huge step and extending the ban to the
whole province is a huge step as well.’’

Andrew Younger, the Liberal
environment critic, said his party is concerned the bill doesn’t define
precisely how the permitted products list will be determined and doesn’t say
who will enforce the legislation. He said he doesn’t believe that police will
have time to enforce it, and he hopes that the province will encourage
municipalities to set up bylaw officers to respond to violations.

“In my own neighbourhood, a large
percentage of people do midnight weed and seed,’’ he said. “The fact of the
matter is that’s the kind of attitude you’re going to get from people who don’t
want to obey the bylaw.’’



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