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Ontario’s planned ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides will be implemented through amendments to the Pesticides Act. The amending statute, the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, had first reading on April 22. It will:

  1. Prohibit the use of pesticides on a proposed list (List of active ingredients that may be used for cosmetic purposes and considered to be prohibited for use);
  2. Give exceptions for agriculture, forestry, and the promotion of public health or safety;
  3. Give a conditional exception for golf courses, which must take precautions to minimize adverse effects; and
  4. Prohibit the sale of pesticides on a second list (List of products that may be used for cosmetic purposes and considered to be prohibited for sale).
  5. Define “cosmetic” to mean non-essential (which will still leave plenty of room for argument).

The Bill will override, and rendered inoperative, all municipal bylaws on the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides, with minor exceptions. This includes the City of Toronto Bylaw, which paved the way for the ban, and which the city expensively and successfully defended in Croplife v. Toronto. A spokesman for the lawn care industry, which ferociously fought the Toronto By-law, claimed on CBC Radio to support the new statute.

In addition to making the pesticide ban uniform across the province, the Bill will transfer responsibility for enforcement from municipalities to the province.

Comments may be made until May 22, 2008 at EBR registry number 010-3348.

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