Premier breaks promise to protect children and the environment from cosmetic pesticides
VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark has closed the door on her promise to protect children and the environment from dangerous cosmetic pesticides, says New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming.
The Liberals introduced weak legislative half-measures Wednesday that fail to protect children in the yards and playgrounds where they play and won’t change the widespread retail availability of these harmful chemicals.
“The people of this province deserve 21st century legislation that takes into account the growing body of evidence that shows how harmful these chemicals are to children, pets and our environment,” said Fleming. “This legislation fails to deliver the kinds of environmental and human health protections that British Columbians have been calling for, and that millions of Canadians enjoy in six other provinces.”
When Premier Clark was running for the leadership of the Liberal party she said “these dangerous pesticides are proven to increase the likelihood of childhood cancer and other illnesses, and have no place near our homes. I don’t want to see my son playing on a lawn with toxic pesticides. I don’t want to see anyone’s child playing on a lawn with toxic pesticides.”
“The Premier’s decision to break her promise to protect children from the health risks of cosmetic pesticides is especially disappointing given recent evidence published in the Journal of Pediatrics about the acute poisoning risks that synthetic lawn and garden chemicals pose to children,” said New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming.
The epidemiologic evidence in the Nov. 2012 study “demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.”
At least 39 municipalities governing 2.6 million people in British Columbia have put forward by-laws restricting the use of cosmetic pesticides, but the bans are impossible to enforce because communities don't have the legal power to take the products off store shelves.
“It’s hard to imagine how the premier could believe that these dangerous pesticides increase the likelihood of childhood cancer and do so little to prevent unnecessary exposure to them,” said Fleming. “New Democrat leader Adrian Dix proposed practical steps to protect our children when he introduced legislation that would eliminate the unnecessary use of cosmetic pesticides.”
Adrian Dix and the New Democrats are offering change for the better, one practical step at a time.