Media Release: Ontaro Court of Appeal Releases Pesticides Decision

Media Release

Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario Court of Appeal today released its decision in the challenge against Toronto’s Pesticide By-law.

The Court ruled that the City of Toronto has the authority to pass the by-law controlling pesticides. No other federal or provincial law dealt with this subject.

The Toronto Pesticide By-law was closely patterned after a similar by-law by the town of Hudson, Quebec fourteen years ago. That by-law was upheld as valid by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2001.

CropLife, a pesticides industry association, challenged the by-law passed by Toronto, and a lower Ontario Court ruled it valid.

Today’s ruling means that Ontario municipalities concerned with the reduction of pesticide use in their territories, can continue with consideration and passage of by-laws to control such use.

“This is an important day for Ontario municipalities and their residents,” stated Theresa McClenaghan, Counsel. Ms. McClenaghan continued, “The court has reconfirmed the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that Canadian municipalities must be able to govern based on the health, welfare and interests of their communities.”

“This is a victory for the environment and public health, and the ability for municipalities to act in a precautionary way,” added Paul Muldoon, CELA Counsel and Executive Director.

CELA, in conjunction with Sierra Legal Defence Fund, represented itself and Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Sierra Club of Canada, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Ontario College of Family Physicians, Environmental Defence Canada, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and World Wildlife Fund as interveners before the Ontario Court of Appeal to support the city’s Pesticide By-law.

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For more information, please contact:

Theresa McClenaghan or Paul Muldoon (CELA) 416-960-2284 ext. 218 and 219
Justin Duncan (SLDF) 416-368-7533 ext. 22