City Considers All-Out Ban on Pesticide Usage
(Beyond Pesticides, July 10, 2003) The city council in Fredericton, New Brunswick, could be voting on a new city code that would ban the use of weed and insect killers on lawns and gardens. According to cbc.ca, the vote could happen as early as September 2003 and is a result of the residents' concerns over the threat pesticides present to public health and the environment.
City officials in Fredericton want to learn from other municipalities that have already banned pesticide use. They also are accepting comments from the public and conferring with other levels of the local and national government. Most councilors were in favor of the ban when it was proposed, but the Fredericton mayor, Les Hull, was less enthusiastic, citing concerns about the effects the new policy would have on farmers and landscapers.
The final report on the proposal will be ready for a vote in September. If the measure passes, the ban could take effect next spring.
If the city code passes, Fredericton would be following the lead of several other Canadian cities, including Halifax, Dundas, Chelsea, Hudson, and most recently Toronto, that have already passed legislation that bans or severely restricts private pesticide use. The successes these cities earned stemmed from strong community-wide effort, even in the face of strong opposition. Beyond Pesticides covered a story recounting Toronto's success against 12 chemical lawn care companies' public relations scheme, as well as the U.S. industry response, in the May 30, 2003 edition of Daily News. In the June 5, 2003 edition of Daily News, a similar success story is recounted when state legislators in Maine passed a bill to ban the sale of arsenic treated wood.
Beyond Pesticides encourages grassroots initiatives to make local and large-scale policy changes. Any movement toward the decrease in use of pesticides is a step towards a safer environment for everyone. For resources to decrease pesticide use in your community, please contact Beyond Pesticides.