In the decision-making process, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) took every reasonable step to ensure that all comments received during the comment period were considered.
The comments included:
- Municipalities should be able to be more restrictive than the provincial ban if it is not as restrictive as some by-laws. The ban should not make municipal pesticide by-laws inoperative.
- The term ‘cosmetic’ is not clearly defined and some recommend that essential uses should be identified.
- Exceptions for pesticide use should be provided for landscape uses to control pest infestations conditional upon complying with certain requirements similar to the exception provided for golf courses.
- There is no scientific basis to support a ban on cosmetic pesticide use. The ban should focus on the use of the product (i.e. responsible use restricted to trained applicators) and not on the product itself.
- Golf courses should not be excepted from the ban.
- Many golf course employees, owners and golfers provided comments or signed petitions (1316 signatures) in support of exceptions for golf courses.
- The legislation should provide clear rules for homeowners to establish what can be used for cosmetic use purposes. Most municipal by-laws include a list of “exempted products”, which identify the pesticides allowed for use under the by-laws.
- The Act provides a broad exception for “other prescribed uses” which potentially could be misused to except many other pesticide uses such as for pest infestations.
In consideration of the extensive number of comments and the strong support for a ban on the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides, the government carried through on its commitment and passed the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 on June 18, 2008 as proposed with the following changes:
- The exception for “other prescribed” uses are conditional on meeting the regulatory requirements. Protection provided by the ban is strengthened to ensure that any additional excepted uses must meet all conditions placed on them as specified in regulation.
- Regulation making authority has been provided to prescribe conditions in regulation, that must be complied with, in order for the prescribed use to be excepted from the use prohibition.
The goal of the province-wide ban is to establish one clear, comprehensive law across Ontario providing greater restrictions that go beyond the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes to include the sale of such pesticides. The Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 takes a prudent approach to reduce potential risk, especially to the most vulnerable members of our society, from the cosmetic uses of pesticides. Cosmetic uses are unnecessary and there are alternatives to pesticides to manage pests on lawns, gardens, and parks.
The MOE recognizes that golf courses require high performance standards for the playing surfaces and require some pesticide use to achieve such standards. The exception to the prohibition on the use of prescribed pesticides on golf courses is conditional upon complying with certain requirements. Prescribed conditions will be considered in the development of the regulations required to make the ban operable.
The MOE also recognizes that the use of pesticides in forestry and agriculture is not to improve appearance or aesthetics and these uses are therefore not included in the ban.
The legislation includes a provision for exemptions for “other prescribed uses” which are conditional upon complying with certain conditions. It is proposed that other prescribed uses and the conditions for those uses will be considered in the development of the regulations.
It is proposed that specific products banned for sale and use will be specified in regulation. The MOE has developed preliminary lists of pesticides to promote discussion about the types of pesticides that could be prescribed for the sale and use bans in the regulation. These lists are available at www.ontario.ca/pesticides.
Consideration will be given to suggestions for other exempted uses and products received in the consultation in the development a draft regulation. The draft regulation will be posted for public comment.