The Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa

Municipal Pesticide Bylaw Stats
Opinion Poll Results




June 22, 2012

Manitoba considers a provincial ban on the cosmetic use of lawn pesticides

The government of Manitoba is seeking feedback from the public on the issue of a provincial ban on the cosmetic sale and use of pesticides in Manitoba.

"We know other jurisdictions have restricted the use of cosmetic lawn
pesticides in areas where people may be exposed to them including
residential, institutional and recreational settings. We want to hear from
Manitobans on this important issue"

Gord Mackintosh Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister

Comments concerning the proposal can be submitted online to the Province of Manitoba at their website at:
or e-mailed directly to

June 19, 2012

Ontario Family Physicians Warn of Pesticide Dangers

The Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) has published their second scientific review on  pesticide research. Their latest findings have established links between pesticide exposure and harmful neuro-developmental, respiratory, and reproductive health effects. As a result of their findings, the OCFP strongly recommends that "the public reduce their exposure to pesticides wherever possible."

"Many of the health problems linked with pesticides are serious, so it's important we continue to advocate for reducing exposure as the most effective approach."
Dr. Margaret Sanborn, family physician, Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University, and one of the review's authors.

Studies reviewed by the Ontario College show positive associations between pesticide exposure, across a wide age range, and deficits in child neurodevelopment, child and adult respiratory symptoms, and adverse reproductive outcomes.

The OCFP supports a continuation of cosmetic pesticide bans, as a way of reducing human exposure.


OCFP 2012 Systematic Review of Pesticide Health Effects


OCFP Media Release:

May 24, 2012

BC Pesticide Committee's Report appears to have an unhealthy bias

A vast majority of British Columbia residents support a cosmetic pesticide ban. Many independent medical doctors and scientists also support a ban (at least those not remunerated by the pesticide industry).  Furthermore, the Canadian Cancer Society in British Columbia believes a cosmetic pesticide ban is the right thing to enact.  But yet the Pesticide Committee of British Columbia has written a report favoring the pesticide industry rhetoric. How could the Pesticide Committee get it so wrong?  Dr. Warren Bell, a prominent medical doctor, believes that the Report appears to be worded with a pro-pesticide industry bias  To read Dr. Warren Bell's open letter on the Report, please click here


April 23, 2012

Coquitlam, BC, implements a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides

With a strong 7-2 majority City council vote, Coquitlam now joins the 170+ other Canadian municipalities that protect citizens from the harmful use of cosmetic lawn pesticides.  The Canadian Cancer Society of the Greater Vancouver region stated about the ban: "research has linked chemical pesticide exposure with an increased risk of both childhood and adult cancers."

For more information, read the Cancer Society's letter and a Tri-City News article.Up

April 5, 2012

Majority of British Columbians support a pesticide ban, whether politically left or right

Support for a ban amounted to 71% (NDP) , 70% (Liberal) and 69% (Conservative) leaning voters, according to a new survey conducted for the Canadian Cancer Society.  

Gideon Forman, executive director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment states:

"For the first time in B.C. there is all-party support for a ban,  Such a consensus across political lines is rare. It's an interesting social phenomenon."

Furthermore, Kathryn Seely, director of public issues for the Canadian Cancer Society, stated that her organization has long supported a province-wide ban on cosmetic pesticide use. "Two-thirds of Metro Vancouver residents and 76 per cent of families with children support the ban."

 For additional information, please see: Vancouver Sun


July 15, 2011

Newfoundland's announces cosmetic pesticide ban

Residents of Newfoundland have welcomed the news that their province shall ban the cosmetic use of pesticides.   The ban was announced on July 14th 2011 by Environment Minister Ross Wiseman, and will be in force for the 2012 lawn care season.
Wiseman states:

"As a government, we have carefully looked at all aspects of the pesticide debate and have made the decision to ban the sale and use of these particular products.... "Good business people respond to changes in the market (and) develop products that respond to consumer demands, so many of these businesses will diversify. I acknowledge, though, that in the onset some of them will have an impact as they adjust to the new reality."

St. John's City Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary states:

"There has been conclusive research to show linkages to cancer, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and Parkinson's disease ... This is stuff that has been established for quite some time and more and more research continues to unfold. So why are we taking the risks? I think it's fantastic that we have eliminated just another environmental hazard in our province."

The Canadian Cancer Society used its Relay for Life campaign to collect signatures supporting a ban.  "We're very happy" said Matthew Piercey, executive director of the society's Newfoundland and Labrador's division.

The government is banning a specific list of chemicals: carbaryl 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) mecoprop dicamba MCPA (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid)

Newfoundland joins five Canadian provinces -- Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, 
New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island -- that have banned the use
 of 2,4-D on lawns. British Columbia and Manitoba are also considering bans.

January 24, 2011

More Canadians protected from lawn pesticides

The lack of adequate protection from unwanted exposure to lawn pesticides at the federal and provincial level has fueled a growing surge in municipal pesticide ordinances designed to enhance the protection of public health and the environment. As of December 31, 2010 the aggregate number of municipal by-laws in Canada stood at 171.  An additional ten pesticide by-laws are at the draft stage pending adoption. 

Close to 24 million Canadians, or 79.6% of Canada's total population (based on the 2006 Census), are benefiting from enhanced protection from unwanted exposure to synthetic lawn and garden pesticides. This figure includes the gold standard province-wide protection provided under Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 and Québec's Pesticide Management Code as well as New Brunswick's and PEI's Pesticide Acts.

The following chart summarizes the rapid increase in the number of municipal pesticide bylaws across Canada (click on chart for full size image):



July 27, 2010

88% of British Columbians show support for a cosmetic lawn pesticide ban

More than 8,000 comments, signatures on petitions or submissions were received between December 2009 and the end of February 2010 in response to the BC Ministry of the Environment's request for comments on the cosmetic use of pesticides in British Columbia.

A whopping 88% of British Columbians' support banning the cosmetic use of lawn pesticides in their province. 

For more information, please click here.Up

June 10, 2010

Ontario study finds an 80% drop in toxic lawn pesticides found in urban streams and creeks since the province-wide pesticide ban

Staff from the Ministry of Environment and Conservation Authorities conducted a water quality monitoring study of 10 urban streams and creeks in Ontario. The study was conducted pre/post cosmetic pesticide ban in Ontario, during the summer of 2008 and 2009. The study found a greater than 80% reduction of the three most commonly used lawn pesticides.

CHO is encouraged with the findings, and praises the Ontario government for banning the cosmetic use of lawn pesticides.  As a result, our environment is thankfully cleaner, and safer as a result of the pesticide ban!

For more information on the study, please click here for a summary of the test results. 
And for an audio recording of the news, please click here.Up

May 4, 2010

Nova Scotia proposes to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides for Spring 2011

On May 4th, the NDP government of Nova Scotia introduced a bill to ban the sale and use of non-essential pesticides across the province.  The ban would apply to lawn care in 2011 and extended in 2012 to banning their use on trees, ornamental shrubs and flowers.  For more information, please see: Non-essential Pesticides Control Act (Bill No. 61

"Nova Scotia issued a discussion paper and sought input from the public over the winter on forbidding the use and sale of non-essential chemicals for cosmetic lawn care purposes. Nova Scotia's Health Minister Sterling Belliveau said about 80 per cent of 1,700 submissions called for a ban."  (Source: The Canadian Press, May 4, 2010)

If passed, Nova Scotia will join the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in placing restrictions against the unnecessary cosmetic use of lawn and garden pesticides.

CHO Congratulates Nova Scotia for realizing that banning the cosmetic use of pesticides makes great sense. As Nova Scotia Health Minister Sterling Belliveau states:

 "Our public consultation response on this was overwhelmingly in favour of a ban.  Medical experts and Nova Scotians agree this is the right solution for our province; it will protect our environment and make life better for families throughout the province.  Health Canada approves these products for use, but they also state that it is good practice to reduce or eliminate any unnecessary exposure to pesticides."

Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang further stated: 

"There are many uses for pesticides and each use needs to be looked at from a risk versus benefit perspective... In regard to cosmetic purposes, there are safe and healthy alternative methods available, to achieve the same result"

Maureen Summers, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, supports the legislation.

"Knowing we're a province that has the highest cancer rates in Canada, that we have to do everything possible to reduce risk for Nova Scotians."

Chris Benjamin of the Ecology Action Centre is generally pleased with the proposed legislation:

"It sounds like a lot of what we want ,,, banning the sale is a huge step and extending the ban to the whole province is a huge step as well."

For more information, please visit the following links:

The Nova Scotia Government press release CTVglobemedia The Halifax Herald,  CBC News Nova Scotia Pests and Pesticides website  Up

April 8, 2010

Pesticide Bylaw List Updated

The lack of adequate protection from unwanted exposure to lawn pesticides at the federal and provincial level has fueled a growing surge in municipal pesticide ordinances designed to enhance the protection of public health and the environment. The aggregate number of municipal by-laws in Canada currently stands at 166. An additional thirteen pesticide by-laws are at the draft stage pending adoption. 

Over 23 million Canadians, or 77% of Canada's total population (based on the 2006 Census), are benefiting from enhanced protection from unwanted exposure to synthetic lawn and garden pesticides. This figure includes the gold standard province-wide protection provided under Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 and Québec's Pesticide Management Code as well as New Brunswick's Pesticides Control Act.

For the current pesticide bylaw list, please click here. Up

August 25, 2009

BC to consult on new cosmetic chemical pesticides protections

British Columbia is moving towards implementing cosmetic pesticide protections.  The 39th parliament Speech from the Throne announced on August 25, 2009 that the government will: "recognize those working to safeguard people and communities around our province.  British Columbians will be consulted on new statutory protections to further safeguard our environment from cosmetic chemical pesticides."

CHO encourages British Columbia to implement a strong province-wide cosmetic pesticide ban.

Sources: BC's 39th Speech from the Throne and News Release from Office of the Premier



June 19, 2009

New Brunswick to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides

The government of New Brunswick is banning the use and sale of 200 over-the-counter lawn-care pesticides starting later this year.

Moncton East Liberal MLA Chris Collins, who has been advocating for a pesticide ban for years stated that:

"I think (the changes) will substantially reduce the amount of tonnage of toxins and distribution of product where children play. I think it really is going to be effective and will make a difference in the health of New Brunswickers"

Gideon Forman, of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, said "Doctors are very pleased New Brunswick is banning the pesticide 2,4-D, a chemical linked to cancer and neurological illness." However, New Brunswick's ban doesn't go far enough. Forman said New Brunswick should follow the lead of Ontario, which bans the use of spot-spraying. Chemicals used in spot-spraying can travel into water and harm people and animals.

For more information, please see CBC News, The Daily Gleaner, the Telegraph-Journal and the Moncton Times & Transcript. Up

April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day - Ontario-wide pesticide ban now law!

CHO celebrates Earth Day, as today marks the commencement of Ontario's province-wide cosmetic pesticide use ban.  A lot of hard work and dedication from pro-health individuals and organizations helped make today possible. Congratulations to all!

In other news, New Democrat MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) just introduced in the House of Commons a Private Members' Bill C-363, which would amend the Pest Control Products Act to place a moratorium on the cosmetic use of chemical pesticides in homes, gardens and on recreational facilities across Canada. If Bill C-363, is passed, the moratorium would take effect on Earth Day, 2010 and be in place until scientific evidence can prove pesticide use is safe.  

"Why should we have to prove that a product is harmful before it is taken off the market? This bill puts the onus on the manufacturers to prove that their product is safe before we'll allow them to sell it. Until they do, it's off the shelves."
Pat Martin, MP Winnipeg Centre

We at CHO couldn't agree more with Pat Martin, and we support his Bill.Up

April 16, 2009

City of Ottawa offers pesticide-free gardening seminars

Ottawa Public Health is now offering a series of free workshops with information on how to care for lawns and gardens naturally.  Come out and get the facts on beautiful lawns and gardens without the use of pesticides.  For more information, please click here.Up

March 23, 2009

Chronology of Federal Pesticide Regulation in Canada

Last year Mr. Pat Martin, MP for Winnipeg Centre, captured the current state of federal pesticide regulation by stating:

"We also believe and are calling for the nationwide ban on the cosmetic, non-essential, non-agricultural use of pesticides. The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have now done it but that is only in the absence of leadership and direction from the federal government that should have done it without having to wait for other jurisdictions to do its regulatory job for it."

For a chronology of Canada's Pest Control Products Act and actions towards banning the cosmetic use of pesticides, please click here.  Also, click here for a chronology on the actions of Canada's major retailers concerning pest control products.

March 16, 2009

EPA has been petitioned to cancel all registration of 2,4-D

Beyond Pesticides submitted comments to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of a petition to cancel all registrations of 2,4-D.  This widely used herbicide is linked to harmful health and environmental effects.  To download the comments, please click here.Up

March 4, 2009

Ontario government passes strong regulations supporting the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act

The Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa is pleased with regulations passed by the Ontario government today to support provincial legislation banning the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides.  Ontario's cosmetic pesticides ban takes effect April 22, 2009.  Over 250 products will be banned for sale and more than 95 pesticide ingredients will be banned for cosmetic uses (see list here).  The Ministry of Environment's press release can be viewed here.

Supporting quotes:

  1. David Suzuki Foundation - "We congratulate the Ontario government for raising the bar on protecting people and the environment from needless pesticide exposure," says Dr. David Suzuki

  2. Pesticide Free Ontario -- "With this legislation, the Ontario Liberal government is showing that it clearly understands the principles of a green economy – that you can protect both health and the environment and create jobs,"

  3. Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario - "The Premier and the Minister of the Environment are to be congratulated for heeding the call of health and environmental organizations.  Pesticides are poisonous and children right across the province will be better protected thanks to this announcement"

  4. Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment - "Ontario is a true leader. There is nothing like this anywhere else on the continent," says CAPE Executive Director Gideon Forman

  5. Canadian Environmental Law Association -- they are "celebrating passage of Ontario 's bold and visionary leadership in banning the use and sale of pesticides for cosmetic purposes"

  6. Canadian Cancer Society - "We congratulate the Ontario government for passing regulations that will provide all Ontarians with strong protection from the health risks associated with the use of cosmetic pesticides..."


2008 Year In Review

Ottawa lags while 15 more municipalities lead with pesticide bylaws in 2008

Case Western Reserve University environmental history professor Ted Steinberg and author of "American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn," said there is "an anti-perfect lawn revolution under way in Canada. "

As of December 31, 2008,  there are 152 pesticide by-laws across Canada, with Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver leading the way. Calgary also has a draft pesticide bylaw on the books. There are over 15.4 million Canadians, or 48.9% of Canada's total population (based on the 2006 Census), benefiting from enhanced protection from unwanted exposure to synthetic lawn and garden pesticides.  On November 17, 2008, the City of Thunder Bay became municipality #152 to adopt a pesticide by-law in Canada (and #35 in Ontario). The vote at city council was unanimous.

In Ontario the number of municipalities that have adopted private property pesticide bylaws has increased by seven to thirty-five (35) despite the pending province-wide pesticide ban. Meanwhile Ottawa continues to sit in the back of the bus and let others lead. Ottawa's image as a community health prevention leader has totally tanked on this specific issue.

Those from outside of Ottawa seem to agree that Ottawa City Council is certainly not leading the pack on pesticides.  Halifax Councillor, Bob Harvey offered the following comment in a CBC interview with Rita Celli on October 27, 2005 about Ottawa's failed attempt to adopt a pesticide by-law:

"Well I was surprised and dismayed by that I didn't realize until today. I'd assume that five years after we went through this debate and discussion that, you know, enlightenment would have spread to the nation's capital."

A headline in The News EMC (Ottawa West) on September 27, 2007 read:

'Suzuki lambastes Ottawa on pesticides.  Says mayor 'so ignorant he doesn't know he's ignorant'. 

The headline referred to the fact that Ottawa City Council has yet to follow in the footsteps of more than 100 other Canadian municipalities that have banned cosmetic pesticide use and David Suzuki's response, having meet with Mr. O'Brien to discuss this issue, to an audience of over 1000 attending the Canadian Public Health Association annual conference in Ottawa.

Dr. Robin Walker, former Medical Director of Critical Care at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario had this to say about Ottawa's fumbling on pesticides:

"City Council accepted industry propaganda over medical science and once again abrogated their responsibility to protect the health of all the citizens of Ottawa. The majority of our City Council today chose political expediency over what is right for the community, and put lawns at the top of their priorities and kids at the bottom." 
Read press release here

The following chart summarizes the rapid increase in the number of municipal pesticide bylaws across Canada (click on chart for full size image):



Archives: 2008 News


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Last updated: June 25, 2012

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