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Pesticide ban puts jobs at risk: LO’s DiGiovanni


February 12, 2009
By Mike Jiggens


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THE new cosmetic pesticide ban in Ontario will severely impact the lives and livelihoods of several Landscape Ontario members, their employees and families, Landscape Ontario executive director Tony DiGiovanni says.

Approximately 1,300 lawn care companies employing 15,000 licensed applicators and 5,000 technicians will be affected by the ban.

"These are real numbers representing real people," DiGiovanni said.

Landscape Ontario originally gave conditional support to the cosmetic ban, provided the regulations allowed limited use of products to deal with infestations and integrated pest management accreditation. The association withdrew its support when the draft regulations were announced.

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"The proposed regulations risk more than these 20,000 Ontario jobs," DiGiovanni said. "By providing no solution to control damaging landscape infestations, these regulations say to the Ontario public that our lawns and gardens are a non-essential part of our environment. While skilled workers join Ontario's growing ranks of unemployed, frustrated homeowners will see the destruction of their lawns and landscapes, requiring unmanageable and avoidable renovation costs. In addition, the lawn destruction risked by these regulations will lead to increased soil erosion and a reduction in important carbon sinks in our built environments."

The approach proposed by industry professionals would drastically reduce pesticide risk while protecting our green infrastructure and allowing the development of better products and processes, DiGiovanni contends.

"The industry and activists are really not far apart. We all want a safe, prosperous world with a clean and healthy environment. Green industry members believe in environmental activism, and improve and enhance the environment every day through their occupations. Let's work together to promote effective lawn care practices and to encourage the introduction of better products."