P.E.I. political leaders address cosmetic pesticides at forum

The leaders of P.E.I.'s four parties sat down at a forum to discuss environmental issues Tuesday evening, and a ban of cosmetic pesticides was a key topic of discussion.

Greens, NDP commit to cosmetic pesticide ban, Liberals, PCs less clear

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The leaders of P.E.I.'s four parties sat down at a forum to discuss environmental issues Tuesday evening, and a ban of cosmetic pesticides was a key topic of discussion.

The forum was part of a number of meetings the leaders are attending during campaigning for a May 4 provincial election.

Last fall the province gave municipalities the power to ban cosmetic pesticides, and the Island's four largest are discussing bylaws. The provincial leaders were asked about implementing a province-wide ban.

The leaders of the Green Party and NDP were firm in their support of provincial legislation.

"I think it's incumbent upon a provincial government to enact regulations that are Island-wide and that are comprehensive and that ban all cosmetic pesticides," said Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker.

NDP Leader Mike Redmond went a step further, putting a timeline on the question.

"Within 100 days ban cosmetic pesticides. Let's move to the next agenda item," said Redmond.

Progressive Conservative Leader Rob Lantz suggested provincial legislation was a good idea, but did not make a commitment.

"The ultimate solution, and we are moving in that direction, I believe that we'll get there someday soon, is a province-wide ban based on what the four largest municipalities are doing," said Lantz.

Liberal Leader Wade MacLauchlan saw the question as one requiring further discussion.

"I believe the consultations with respect to a Water Act will be an opportunity to have some further input or sounding on the question of cosmetic pesticides," said MacLauchlan.

Questions from twenty interest groups were posed at the forum, on topics such as conservation, energy, and fracking.

Farming practices and fish kills were two other major topics.

All the leaders agreed that more consultation with farmers needs to happen and more research needs to be done around farming practices and the environment.

No official promises were made on that issue.

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