The New Democrats have, for the third time, introduced legislation to ban the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides across the province.
“Today marks the third time New Democrats have introduced legislation banning the frivolous use of toxic cosmetic pesticides across the province,” said Adrian Dix, leader of the New Democrats, in a recent news release. “There is wide spread support for this proposed law, but the B.C. Liberals have failed to take action since concluding a public consultation more than a year ago.”
Dix explained that although individual communities are providing all the leadership that they can, the municipal bylaws can only provide a “patchwork”.
The province is the only form of government that can ban the actual sale of pesticides.
“Only the province can provide the needed legislative consistency that will protect all British Columbians from exposure to unnecessary chemicals and pesticides,” said Dix.
BC would be the fifth province in Canada to adopt this kind of bylaw.
Ontario, which has had a pesticide band since 2009, has been in the news recently on this issue. The province’s Environment Minister told the CBC that since 250 pesticide products were removed from store shelves in 2009, the concentration levels of 2,4-D — one of the most common pesticides — have been found to be significantly lower in 10 urban streams.
Patti Moore, the Health Promotion Coordinator for Canadian Cancer Society in the Kootenay Region, explained that it has been found in numerous polls that over 70 per cent of British Columbians are in favour of a province-wide ban.
“There is such strong support for this across the region,” said Moore.
The potential province-wide ban is timely for the Town of Golden, which passed it’s own ban on the use of cosmetic pesticides last fall.
Jon Wilsgard, Manager of Corporate Administration for the Town, said such a proposal would be in keeping with the position of the Union of BC Muncipalities (UBCM). The UBCM has maintained that only with Provincial leadership can the full and consistent prohibition of cosmetic pesticides in BC be dealt with.
“This is a very positive step that would join BC with 4 other provinces in simply banning their sale completely rather than leaving it to municipality’s to struggle at regulating them in specific areas,” said Wilsgard.
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald is hopeful that the legislation will pass.
“Premier Clark said last week that she supports the ban, something Campbell never did during his time as premier.”
Macdonald emphasized the importance of passing the legislation in the remaining days of this legislative session. He believes it is not a complicated bill and could be passed in the next few weeks.
“The Opposition has put forward this legislation on two previous occasions, but the BC Liberals have simply ignored it. Premier Clark claims that she supports a ban on cosmetic pesticides, so now it is time for her to put her support into action. It’s time to pass the Opposition’s Cosmetic Pesticide Control Act.”