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From May 3, 2005

Montreal Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Comes Into Effect
(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2005)
A bylaw banning the use of pesticides for aesthetic purposes came into effect across Montreal last week. The bylaw, which was adopted by the city council last spring, bans the outdoor use of pesticides, including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.

"We want kids to be able to roam free in the grass," said Alan DeSousa, the city executive committee member responsible for the environment. "People want a safe and healthy community."

Maximum fines for breaking the bylaw are $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for corporations. Mr. DeSousa, however, does not believe people will purposefully defy the law. "It is the residents who have been asking for tougher bylaws," he said. Although the bylaw officially came into effect yesterday, 25 of Montreal's 27 boroughs had already begun implementing it last year, reports the Montreal Gazette (see Daily News story 3.12.04)

According to the bylaw, residents can obtain a permit to spray if their lawn or trees become infested, or if they have to control rats, mice or spiders. The bylaw permits the use of pesticides on golf courses and bowling greens, although it requires a five-meter buffer zone between those areas and neighboring properties. The use of mineral soaps, insecticidal soaps, and other materials classified as biopesticides by the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency are also permitted by the law.

Local environmental activists involved in the campaign say that they are thrilled with the new bylaw. "It is excellent. The measures protect the public from this chemical onslaught," said David Fletcher, vice-president of the Green Coalition.

TAKE ACTION: Stop using pesticides around your home-read up on some alternatives to toxic chemicals. To get involved in the campaign to end the cosmetic use of pesticides on lawns in the US, read and sign the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns' Declaration on the Use of Toxic Lawn Pesticides at www.pesticidefreelawns.org.