The City of Montreal is completely banning neonicotinoid pesticides in an effort to better protect the bee population. 

Neonicotinoids are nicotine-based insecticides that contain neurotoxins that make all parts of the plant harmful to insects feeding on them.

In Canada, the pesticides are used in coated seeds in the cultivation of more 50 different fruits and vegetables.

Researchers believe they are among the factors that have contributed to the massive decline in bee colony populations in North America in recent years.

In the past, neonicotinoid use has been restricted in Montreal, but citizens and businesses could obtain a temporary permit to use it to control vermin or ants.

Applies to golf courses

The new total prohibition, announced last night at the executive committee meeting, also applies to golf courses and properties used for agricultural purposes. 

"This tighter control of pesticides will, among other things, allow us to better protect bees and other pollinators," Réal Ménard, Montreal's executive committee member responsible for the environment, said in a news release.

The move is in line with a larger strategy by Quebec's environment ministry to place tighter controls on pesticide use in the province.

In November, Environment Minister David Heurtel announced plans to implement a new strategy updating the province's pesticide regulations that will restrict the use of certain chemicals deemed "high-risk."

The new strategy primarily focuses limiting certain pesticides used in agriculture, like neonicotinoids and atrazine, which have been banned in Europe for more than 10 years.

with files from Canadian Press