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From June 6, 2002

7 Canadian Towns Join Forces to Weed Out Pesticides

Seven Canadian towns north of Montreal, Quebec have pledged to act together to ban unnecessary pesticide use on private and public land within their borders. Since the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right of the town of Hudson, just west of Montreal, to ban pesticides last June, many Quebec municipalities have moved to pass new anti-pesticide bylaws. But this is the first time municipalities have come together to harmonize bylaws in an effort to create a no-pesticide, or at least low-pesticide, zone.

"We are sending an important message to the industry and to government that this is an irreversible movement and it's not going to stop here," Yvan Deschênes, mayor of Rosemère and chairman of the regional county municipality of Thérèse-De Blainville told the Montreal Gazette.

The municipalities of Blainville, Boisbriand, Bois-des-Filion, Lorraine, Rosemère, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines and Sainte-Thérèse, which together form the regional county municipality of Thérèse-De Blainville, are preparing to pass strict bylaws on pesticide use that will come into effect next January.

Golf-course owners will be given until 2005 to comply with the ban, but in the meantime, they must create a buffer zone between the course and residential areas, where pesticides cannot be applied. In the meantime, the towns have launched a public-education campaign to raise awareness about the health impact of pesticides, their proper use and organic or safe alternatives.