Turf & Rec

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New Brunswick residents favour ban on pesticides


March 24, 2009
By Mike Jiggens


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MOST residents of New Brunswick are in favour of a province-wide ban on cosmetic pesticide use, a recent Ipsos Reid survey has determined.

An overwhelming 79 per cent of 438 adults surveyed favour a ban. The poll was commissioned by the New Brunswick office of the Canadian Cancer Society, the New Brunswick Lung Association and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

New Brunswick has been formulating a plan which will deal with pesticide use in the province. Environment Minister Roland Haché has said he will unveil the plan during the spring sitting of the provincial legislature.

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Although exact details of the plan are still uncertain, proponents of a ban want legislation introduced that will reflect the results of the recent poll.

One potential scenario is the enactment of a ban similar to Ontario’s which bans pesticide use on lawns and municipal turfgrass, but which has granted exception status to golf courses as well as the agriculture and foresty industries.

Golf courses should be included in any ban, the executive director of the Association of Physicians for the Environment said. Gideon Forman argued golf courses are not an essential sector for pesticide use, suggesting they be maintained by alternative, non-chemical products.

Late in 2008, about 1,500 residents of New Brunswick were surveyed for their opinion on four possible courses of action. The choice among the majority was for the province to implement a ban on cosmetic pesticide use. Other options included continued emphasis on education and voluntary reduction, targeted regulatory changes, and a role for municipal governments.

So far, four New Brunswick municipalities—Saint Andrews, Sackville, Shediac and Carequet—have implemented bans of their own. 

Ontario and Quebec are the only two provinces to have implemented province-wide cosmetic pesticide bans. The bans prohibit the use of more than 80 ingredients and 300 pest control products.