VICTORIA – After Liberal MLAs on the Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides failed to live up to the premier’s promise to ban cosmetic pesticides, New Democrats are taking action.
“British Columbians are concerned about the effects of toxic chemicals on the health of their children and the environment,” said New Democrat leader Adrian Dix. “People want action, but despite repeated commitments from the premier, the B.C. Liberals have failed to make any real change.”
At an event on the front lawn of the legislature, Dix announced he will reintroduce legislation today banning the frivolous use of toxic pesticides on lawns and in other places where children play.
“New Democrats were disappointed by the outcome of the committee process,” said Dix. “We intend to continue to push for the government to implement this ban that is in the best interests of the health of our province.
“We are calling on the premier to work with us to get this legislation passed as soon as possible. The legislation is written – let’s make it into law.”
Dix noted that 40 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 without provincial legislation.
New Democrat environment critic Rob Fleming, who was deputy chair of the pesticide committee, said that the vast majority of the 8,700 British Columbians who participated want stronger provincial government action.
“There is overwhelming public support and sufficient scientific evidence about the associated environmental and human health risks from the chemicals contained in household pesticides for government to take action,” said Fleming. “Yet the Liberal members of the committee chose to pay more attention to arguments put forth by the very pesticide manufacturers who stand to gain most from not banning cosmetic pesticides.”
The bill New Democrats will introduce is consistent with legislation that exists in six other Canadian provinces and 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. The bill also takes into account useful suggestions that came out of the committee’s consultations.
There are viable non-synthetic alternatives to cosmetic pesticides that are widely available to consumers.
This will mark the fourth time Adrian Dix and the New Democrats have introduced legislation calling for a ban on the unnecessary use of toxic pesticides on lawns and in other places where children play.