PEI

Municipalities consider joint cosmetic pesticide ban

A district-wide cosmetic pesticide ban is being considered by Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall.

Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall say they could be ready to launch regulations this year

The three capital-area municipalities are working together to explore the possibility of a co-ordinated policy on cosmetic pesticides.

A district-wide cosmetic pesticide ban is being considered by Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall.

Last fall, the provincial government gave municipalities some power to regulate use of non-domestic pesticides, namely, commercial, industrial and agricultural products.

However, the legislation passed by government last fall does not give municipalities the power to take consumer products off store shelves.

Cornwall council hasn't voted yet on whether to regulate cosmetic pesticides, but Cornwall CAO Kevin McCarville sees the benefits of a joint approach.

"People in the industry, they'll know that it's the same regulations whether you're in Charlottetown, Cornwall or Stratford," said McCarville.

"It's easier just in terms of drafting [a bylaw], it's easier to enforce. We're not sure how it would be enforced, but if we were going to contract that out, those people would have similar legislation across the board."

Stratford council is surveying residents.

'Matter of extreme public health and safety'

All three municipalities say they could be ready to introduce new regulations this spring or summer.

But a group pushing for more restrictions says only Charlottetown looks ready to move ahead.

"We feel that the time has come now to move on this important issue. It is a matter of extreme public health and safety, not to mention the environment," said Roger Gordon of Pesticide Free PEI.

Cornwall CAO Kevin McCarville says it would be easier to enforce a bylaw if all three municipalities had the same regulations. (CBC)
Robert Gallant, owner of Atlantic Graduate Lawn Care, says if the municipalities are going to restrict the products lawn companies use, those businesses need advance warning.

"The companies now, I'm sure, have their inventory for the upcoming season. So I would hope that if they are talking a ban, that they would allow some kind of grace period."

Representatives of the three municipalities met this week with proponents of a more stringent ban on cosmetic pesticides and held a separate meeting with lawn-care companies.

They've also met with government employees responsible for enforcing provincial pesticide regulations. 

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