Turf & Rec

Features Government Affairs
FAQ Part 2

February 12, 2009  By William Gathercole

During the proceedings in 2001, Bastarache asked the question: "If we allow the right to sell cigarettes, does this mean we cannot prevent its sale in schools?"

The CropLife-Toronto affair was botched, as well as cursed with bad luck.

What does the future hold for the green space industry?

We will conclude this article with a few predictions. The following are two likely scenarios that may occur in the green space industry.


• Scenario No. 1. Litigation.

The Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario will eventually move to a class action suit to legally challenge the prohibitions of pest control products. An injunction will be sought for all prohibitions. Landscape Ontario will pursue the restitution of losses to the industry. The Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA) will struggle in vain to maintain its exception status, which will be lost within three to five years. The CGSA will be forced to join the litigation battle with the PLCAO. One of the four litigation groups within the environmental movement, probably EcoJustice Canada, will intervene with their legal expertise. As a result of uncertainty regarding the success of litigation and injunctions, there will be a series of shortages of pest control products needed by the green space industry.


• Scenario No. 2. Retaliation.

The industry will forfeit its long-standing provincial infrastructures. A lawsuit threatening the Government of Ontario will lead to retaliatory action. The Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario will be forced to vacate the premises it now occupies at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute. Support from many provincial government agencies will be curtailed, or eliminated, including the University of Guelph and other agencies that have been closely allied with the green space industry. Our friends and associates who work for these agencies will be told to "tow the party line, or else …" If they do not comply, they will risk losing their employment, their careers, and their pensions. They will be forced to become the instruments of policy and enforcement against the green space industry. Ultimately, technical and educational expertise will be lost in Ontario, and sought elsewhere through private or federal agencies, or U.S.-based organizations. The Government of Ontario will irreversibly damage the agencies that formerly supported the green space industry.

About the principal author

William H. Gathercole has been following the evolution of the green space industry for more than a quarter-century. He holds a degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, and another pure and applied science degree from McGill University. He has worked in virtually all aspects of the green space industry, including public relations and environmental safety. Mr. Gathercole has been a consultant, instructor, and writer for decades. He is a regular contributing columnist for Turf & Recreation.

Personal note and disclaimer

In sickness or in health, with the help of his entourage, we still hope to keep all of our readers entertained and informed. Bill continues to recover from his serious motor vehicle accident. In order to complete this particular article, it has been co-authored with Norah G. Well wishers may send a personal note to Bill by way of this magazine, or at whg007@gmail.com. By the way, the opinions expressed in this article, even though from an independent perspective, may not reflect those of Turf & Recreation.

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