June 15, 2008
Following the announcement of the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, Landscape Ontario immediately released its position on the new provincial pesticide legislation.

In a press release, Gavin Dawson, chair of the Landscape Ontario Lawn Care Commodity Group, stated, “The professional lawncare industry in Ontario supports the concept of a strong, province-wide pesticide law to replace a patchwork of contradictory municipal bylaws. While we recognize there is more work to be done on the details of this initiative, the McGuinty government has delivered on its promise with a Bill that ensures consistent standards everywhere, which apply equally to professionals servicing our green infrastructure and the do-it-yourself market.”

The proposed Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act was introduced on April 22, 2008, by Environment Minister John Gerretsen.

Over the past few years, many Ontario municipalities introduced a variety of standards to regulate lawncare treatment. Inconsistencies and varying interpretations made it difficult for many companies to operate across city boundaries. The public was confused as well.

“The fact that homeowners could simply purchase and apply chemicals still readily available at retail outlets meant these bans accomplished virtually nothing in terms of reducing pesticide loads, while severely impacting the ability of highly-trained, professional operators to serve their clients in the creation of healthy lawns and landscapes,” stated Dawson.

Landscape Ontario’s position is that the new legislation will add impetus to bring new environmentally-friendly products and techniques to market. “The professional lawncare industry is on the forefront, and we are more than prepared to do our part to advance green alternatives,” said Dawson. “We are calling on the provincial government to invest and partner with us to speed up the development and commercialization of the next generation of eco-safe alternatives for dealing with lawn and garden pests.”

Dawson noted that there are many important details to be worked out. “We will be diligent in ensuring that the intent is reflected in the final package of rules,” he said. “We look forward to working with Minister Gerretsen to address more detailed issues in the regulation, including the defined list of active ingredients and products to be banned, sign-posting standards and reasonable approaches to treat potentially damaging pest infestations, from grub outbreaks to emerald ash borer for the protection of our lawns, landscapes and a greener planet.

“Our industry’s role and value in maintaining a green, healthy environment will only add to the success on this initiative,” Dawson concluded.

Initially, the premier said he would allow municipalities to install even tougher laws over and above the provincial law. As of May 9th, McGuinty says he won’t change Ontario’s proposed pesticide ban to allow municipalities to keep tougher laws.

For further information, contact Gavin Dawson at (905) 290-1844. A list of proposed products within the Act may be found on www.horttrades.com; click on the story, “Landscape Ontario supports new provincial pesticide legislation.”