VICTORIA—Legislation to protect families and the environment from exposure to toxic pesticides should be passed within the remaining days of this legislative sitting, says Adrian Dix, leader of the New Democrats.
“Today marks the third time New Democrats have introduced legislation banning the frivolous use of toxic cosmetic pesticides across the province. There is wide spread support for this proposed law, but the B.C. Liberals have failed to take action since concluding a public consultation more than a year ago. And yesterday the new premier effectively proposed setting up yet another process to consider how to deal with the issue.
“Action is long overdue. The New Democrats, through our house leader and environment critic, will be requesting that debate and a vote of this bill be scheduled during the remaining days of this abbreviated legislative session. We are also supportive of the government putting forward its own legislation vetted by legislative counsel before this sitting of the legislature ends,” said Dix.
Dix introduced the Cosmetic Pesticide and Carcinogen Control Act, 2011 this morning. The act bans the frivolous use of toxic pesticides on lawns and in other places where children play.
The act is consistent with provincial legislative reforms urged by the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Toxic Free Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
“More than 30 communities in British Columbia have already passed by-laws attempting to restrict the use of these products. Unfortunately municipalities are powerless to take these toxic chemicals off store shelves; that's why we need provincial legislation to protect families and the environment,” explained Dix.
The Act also follows the advice of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization.
Dix noted that over 70 per cent of the public favours phasing out cosmetic pesticides. However, following a consultation process that found widespread consensus for a province wide ban, the B.C. Liberals failed to bring forth any legislative measure to disallow their use.
Yesterday, Premier Christy Clark said she wanted to set up a new process to consider how to address the issue.
“There is widespread consensus that we need to take urgent to phase out cosmetic pesticides, and the New Democrats worked with experts to draft the legislation tabled today. Furthermore, there are no assurances that the B.C. Liberals, who have only scheduled the legislature to sit 24 days so far this year, will hold a fall session.
“On this note, I am directing our house leader and environment critic to work with the government to schedule debate and a vote on this legislation during the remaining days of this abbreviated session. We are also supportive of the government presenting its own legislation vetted by legislative counsel before this sitting of the legislature ends. British Columbians are right to expect their MLAs to deliver meaningful action on the environment and public health,” said Dix.
The legislation can be found here: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th3rd/1st_read/m203-1.htm