Ottawa Moves to
Ban Pesticides on City Property
On March 10, 2001, The Ottawa Citizen reported that some Ottawa city councilors and health department officials are supporting a measure that would severely restrict pesticide use on city property. Ottawa city employees have been working on the policy, which would only allow chemical pesticides to be used if pests pose a serious health threat to humans or animals.
"We think the
city should take the high road on this," Dr. Robert Cushman, Ottawa's
medical officer of health told The Ottawa Citizen. "We don't use
pesticides unless we absolutely have to." Dr. Cushman believes that
toxic pesticides should be banned, when
alternatives become available.
The story reports
that councilor Alex Cullen, a supporter of the policy, explained that
by taking this position on pesticides, he is following through on an election
promise. "I have mothers with young children in my ward who go bananas
when pesticide flags go up." While he understands that the effects
of different pesticides vary, Mr. Cullen said he
believes they can be carcinogenic and can be toxic when ingested. He has no cost estimate for the policy, but expects it to be negligible.
The department's policy
is expected to be presented to the public April 19, 2001 at the health,
recreation and social services committee.