PEI

Charlottetown cosmetic pesticide law bounced back to province

Charlottetown city council sent a bylaw restricting cosmetic pesticide use back to committee Monday night, angering environmentalists who had come to the meeting to see the bylaw passed.

City council defers bylaw regulating lawn pesticides, will ask province to pass legislation

Coun. Bob Doiron says there are too many problems with Charlottetown's cosmetic pesticide bylaw, and it would be better for the province to deal with the issue. (CBC)

Charlottetown city council sent a bylaw restricting cosmetic pesticide use back to committee Monday night, angering environmentalists who had come to the meeting to see the bylaw passed.

Council was prepared to vote on the bylaw, and it was expected to pass, but before the bylaw could get to the floor Coun. Bob Doiron, chair of the environment and sustainability committee, surprised the council and gallery with a recommendation the bylaw be deferred and sent back to committee.

What Doiron really wants is for the province to deal with the issue of people spraying pesticides on their lawns.

Roger Gordon had come to council to see the cosmetic pesticide bylaw passed, and was upset it didn't happen. (CBC)

Doiron said there were too many issues with the city's bylaw. In particular around enforcement, and with safety, given that residents could do their own spraying since the bylaw wouldn't ban the sale of the products.

He thinks council was giving into pressure from the public.

"It's not a time for trial and error," he said.

"It's not a time for the city of Charlottetown to put something in place just to satisfy a few and then all of a sudden realize we can't handle it."

"I've heard a lot of councillors talking about the right for some people to do this and some people to do that, and lets give everybody their say in all of these issues," said Roger Gordon.

"The thing that really matters is public health and safety."

Mayor Clifford Lee said he is willing to talk to the new provincial government to see if they will consider province-wide legislation.

"If this administration, though, is saying we're not touching the issue of cosmetic pesticides, then my position is this council has an obligation and responsibility to deal with it," said Lee.

Lee said the issue will have to go back to a public forum to be debated, and he expects that will happen soon.

Question of the day: Was it a good idea for Charlottetown to defer its cosmetic pesticide legislation?

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