Pesticide Bylaw Partnership Makes Final Push

Urges Councillors to Put Kids Health First Now

(Toronto) Today, health professionals, environmental groups, trade unions, and the Humane Society of Canada issued a final call for Toronto City Council to approve a bylaw which would restrict the outdoor use of pesticides. Members of the Partnership for Pesticide Bylaws also warned that they would consider votes to defer the bylaw vote as votes against the bylaw.

“We’ve made our case that spraying toxic chemicals into our neighborhoods is unnecessary and unwise,” said Ms. Janet Kasperski, RN, Executive Director and CEO of the Ontario College of Family Physicians. “Right now it’s time for City Council to put the health of children first.”

The Partnership has been making final calls to councillors, and making an effort to clarify how the bylaw actually works in light of a misleading industry advertising campaign. To counter industry’s false claims, Partnership member Environmental Defence Canada recently launched a public education campaign with radio ads, flyer drops and phone calls asking residents to voice their support for the bylaw.

“Scare tactics are always used against our efforts to clean up the environment,” said John Cartwright, President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council. “We stand behind a strong bylaw.”

The Toronto bylaw debate is just one of many across Canada. More the 40 municipalities have approved pesticide bylaws. In each of those communities strong campaigns lead by diverse coalitions have been responsible.

“Banning pesticides will protect pets, their owners, wildlife and the environment,” said Michael O’Sullivan, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Canada.

Some pre-amalgamation Toronto municipalities, like North York, had pesticide restrictions in public spaces over ten years ago. In 1998 Council implemented a pesticides phase-out on public green spaces, and city owned golf courses. In 2000, Council unanimously committed to eliminating the cosmetic use of pesticides on
private properties as part of the Environmental Plan. In 2001, Council directed the Medical Officer of Health to explore strategies to achieve this goal.

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For more information:
Ms. Janet Kasperski, RN Ontario College of Family Physicians: 416- 867-9646 ext. 27
Michael O’Sullivan, Humane Society of Canada: 416-368-0405
John Cartwright, Toronto and York Region Labour Council: 416-441-3663

Download Media Release in PDF: mr032005-Partnership-for-Pesticide-Bylaws