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P.E.I. restricts lawn care pesticides


December 3, 2009
By The Canadian Press

Dec. 3, 2009, Charlottetown – The P.E.I. government's long-anticipated law banning cosmetic pesticides was tabled in the legislature Tuesday.

The P.E.I. government's long-anticipated law banning cosmetic pesticides was tabled in the legislature Tuesday.

The new law will ban over 240 lawn pesticides and herbicides including hose-end products, pesticide concentrates and spreadable granulars.

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Once passed, the ban will come into effect April 1.

Some ready-to-use insecticides, herbicides and fungicides will continue to be available, but only for trained and licensed commercial operators under certain, monitored conditions.

Environment Minister Richard Brown said the new law does not ban the use of these chemicals, but rather the sale of them on P.E.I.

"We're banning the sale of them, and if you can't buy them you can't use them," Brown said.

"Other provinces are trying to ban the use of them but you can still purchase them and use them illegally and the enforcement costs of that are astronomical, so P.E.I. and New Brunswick agreed to ban the sale of them."

The new law will, however, disallow use of any product containing the controversial chemical 2,4-D by consumers and landscape companies.

"Any product with 2,4-D will not be allowed to be sprayed on any lawns on Prince Edward Island, even by commercial operations," Brown said.

But pesticides excluding 2,4-D will still be allowed for use on golf courses.

That's one reason why Opposition Leader Olive Crane said she will allow her members to vote however they choose on the bill.

"This was an issue that was before a standing committee … and there was great discussion that if government is going to show leadership that perhaps they should ban chemicals for golf courses," Crane said.

"There's some particular things that are in there and we thought this was a chance to really demonstrate to the public that we take our role in the legislature very seriously and we're going to have a free vote on this."

Premier Robert Ghiz said he expects cabinet ministers to vote in support of the pesticide bill, but added that backbenchers will be free to vote as they please.


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