Government Affairs
Ontario golf course owners are anticipating the end of a 10-year-long battle they have waged with the provincial government over the issue of what they claim are improper tax assessments. FULL STORY
ONTARIO’S cosmetic pesticide ban act is nearing the end of its second full season of enforcement, and it’s not only the lawn care industry that has felt its impact. Smaller, geographically-isolated lawn bowling clubs are hurting, too.
The Pest Management Regulatory Association has updated the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association about the status of quintozene use in Canada. The following is a formal letter from the PMRA to the CGSA, dated July 14.
ONE of southern Ontario’s prettiest nine-hole golf courses aspires to double in size to 18 holes, but first it must overcome a major obstacle.
HUDSON, Que.’s Canadian Supreme Court victory in 2001 over TruGreen/ChemLawn has become the focal point of a critically-acclaimed yet controversial documentary film which questions many of the products used to make lawns green and weed-free.
PROCEEDINGS for a “private information” have been filed against Ontario Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen and his senior staff before a justice of the peace at Kingston Provincial Court by Jeffrey Lowes, director of government relations for M-REP Communications.
AS turfgrass management professionals in British Columbia brace themselves for the possibility of a province-wide ban on certain pest control products, organizations such as the Integrated Environmental Plant Management Association (IEPMA) of Western Canada are hoping to launch a pre-emptive strike, urging  those in the industry to sign a petition in support of the proper use of pesticides vs. an outright ban. The petition can be accessed at www.iepma.ca/noban.html.
CONTINUED use of the fungicide quintozene on turfgrass may be in jeopardy if the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) follows through on its proposal to remove all turf uses from its label. The PMRA is re-evaluating quintozene (PCNB) and has based its proposal on the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States’ re-evaluation document (RED) from 2006.
Introduction The golf industry exception In order to retain its prohibition exception status in Ontario and Quebec, the golf industry must provide the public, as well as the government, with information supporting the idea that its innovative management practices may reduce the use of pest control products. In the province of Ontario, a requirement for this golf industry exception is the annual report that must be submitted by individual golf clubs.
The parks coordinator for the Town of Ajax, Ont. says the recently-imposed ban on cosmetic pest control products in the province will result in an increase in the municipal budget so that many weeds can be pulled by hand. Tim Murphy said the use of alternative products is resulting in only about a 50 per cent kill rate. FULL STORY
Lawn sprinkling has been banned for the time being in Abbotsford, B.C. while the community copes with a record heat wave. Water in reservoirs is needed in the event of fighting fires. The city is finding it difficult to obtain water from the nearby mountains to keep reservoir levels healthy. FULL STORY
“Golf courses are often also as unnaturally pumped–up as a steroid–addled East German shot putter.” — The official position of the U.S. Sierra Club in 2007. In spite of its exception status in Ontario and Quebec, we will nevertheless repeat our warning to the golf industry. It should not feel too smug about its exception from either the Ontario or the Quebec prohibitions. Government conditions will be attached to this exception. These conditions will soon grow exponentially and become unreasonable. The exception status will very likely be withdrawn within three to five years. The only long-term hope for the golf industry is a strong coalition with the rest of the green space industry that utterly opposes the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act.
Ms. Barbara Kaminsky CEO, Canadian Cancer Society British Columbia/Yukon Ms. Kaminsky: I have been following he Canadian Cancer Societiy campaign to ban "cosmetic" pesticides with great interest and even greater dismay. The position the Society is taking has no basis in real science, and its ramifications are likely to cost more in illness than it prevents. I have in the past respected the aims of the Society, but I find that its position on this issue is devoid of any scientific rationale. (Please click on the PDF to read the entire letter.)
To paraphrase the words of former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt—April 22, 2009—another date which will live in the period of environmental infamy—the full force of the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act came into effect. The professional lawn care industry has been selectively and deliberately stripped of its conventional pest control tools by the Government of Ontario on the pretext that children needed to be protected by products evaluated by a small group of health care workers who have no expertise whatsoever in matters relating to pest control products. The massive and detailed studies of “sound science” performed by Health Canada are annihilated and discredited by those very same health care workers, who have decided to set their own agendas for conspiring to change public policy regarding pest control products.
We are now living in the era of “9–11 of the green space industry.” The prohibition conspiracy against pest control products has now attained national proportions. The provinces are falling like dominoes. The professional lawn care industry is systematically being annihilated across Canada. Our adversaries in the environmental movement have virtually limitless funds to wreak their havoc, and they understand full well that there is no unity within the green space industry.   First municipal, then provincial, and finally national in scope, their first destructive attack will be complete within one or two years. And then. Soon after the environmental movement has tasted victory by obliterating the professional lawn care industry, the hated golf course industry will be targeted in the next attack. This time, the golf industry will be totally alone, and devoid of any allies to help defend itself. The golf industry, because of its attitude of denial and protectionism and mock–dismay at any form of criticism, is ignoring the supreme historic opportunity to join forces with the professional lawn care industry, and litigate against the forces of environmentalist evil.
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