Daily News Archive
From December 19, 2005
Supreme Court Upholds Toronto Pesticide Ban
According to an article in the Toronto Star, the pesticide industry had already unsuccessfully appealed to the Ontario's Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal, prior to the November 18th ruling of the Supreme Court. Critics of the bylaw accused cities of not having enough expertise in pesticide issues and of trying to undermine Health Canada, the federal department that oversees matters of health and safety.
Supporters of the bylaw saw the industries appeal attempts merely as scare tactics to prevent other municipalities from passing similar legislation. Gideon Forman, of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment commented that, “A lot of municipal councillors were a little bit nervous, on the fence, saying we can't pass our own bylaw until (the Toronto case) is decided...That was the industry's tactic."
Not all municipalities have been as lucky as Toronto. In October the city of Ottawa failed to pass a pesticide ban. People are still optimistic, however, and many believe that the Toronto ruling will give other cities the confidence and precedence they need.
The bylaw restricts the use of outdoor pesticides as of April 2004. As of September 1st 2005, commercial applicators can face up to a $225 fine if they do not comply.
To find out how to have your own healthy and beautiful lawn without using harmful pesticides, go to the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns webpage. For factsheets and other useful information go to the resources page.