New Brunswick

Health groups push pesticide ban using new survey results

Health groups have released an opinion poll that they hope will persuade the New Brunswick government to push forward with a ban on "cosmetic" pesticides.

Health groups have released an opinion poll that they hope will persuade the New Brunswick government to push forward with a ban on "cosmetic" pesticides.

A poll commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society, the Lung Association of New Brunswick and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment suggests 79 per cent of people in the province would support a ban on those chemicals used to improve the look of lawns and gardens.

The results released Tuesday were similar to those found in a government report released in December.

Gideon Forman, executive director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, said the poll shows there is deep support for the province to prohibit pesticides used for cosmetic purposes.

Forman said the survey also found that 72 per cent of the New Brunswickers surveyed don't use pesticides.

"And then they asked people who do use pesticides, 'Would you be willing to switch if we showed you how to?' ... most of those say yes they would," he said.

The opinion poll also found 47 per cent saying they completely support a ban, while 32 per cent said they mostly support one.

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid in December and surveyed 438 people in New Brunswick.

Environment minister says decision coming in spring

Environment Minister Roland Hache said he has heard what New Brunswickers think through a series of provincewide hearings last summer. He'll take that information into account when government makes a decision on a possible pesticide ban during the spring session of the legislature.

"Whether that calls for legislation or ministerial authority that has to be debated ... we're not there yet," Hache said.

The four options examined by the province during the public consultation process range from education and voluntary reduction to a full provincewide ban on pesticides.

The summary of the public consultation process that the department released in December said most of people who took part in the discussions backed a ban over other options.