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Pesticide ban looms in N.S.

A provincewide ban will outlaw people from using or selling many forms of pesticides by next year.<br />

A provincewide ban will outlaw people from using or selling many forms of pesticides by next year.

The ban on “non-essential” pesticides will take effect next spring for lawn care and spring of 2012 for ornamental shrubs, flowers and trees.

A list of low-risk pesticides to be allowed will be developed over the coming months.

“Today we are taking steps to protect families and protect our environment,” said Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau yesterday.

“We consulted broadly and did careful research. Now we are ready to move forward with legislation.”

Representatives from the Ecology Action Centre and the Canadian Cancer Society applauded the ban.

HRM already has a ban on the use of some pesticides but was unable to ban their sale. The new provincewide law is designed to fit with the Halifax bylaw.

David Thompson of Landscape Nova Scotia said his industry supports legislation that will protect the health of Nova Scotians. But he hopes the provincial ban will fix problems with the Halifax system.

Thompson said a committee decides which pesticides are allowed or banned with seemingly no guidelines or consistency.

“One of the challenges in Halifax has been there hasn’t really been a clear process to get products on the permitted list,” he said.

“For our industry, it’s all about having clear guidelines on what products we’re allowed to use, having impact on that, and making sure those guidelines are based on science and medical evidence.”

Industry will be consulted during the compiling of the list.

The ban will not apply to agriculture, forestry, golf courses and Christmas tree operations. Pesticide use on vegetable gardens will also not be affected.

Liberals say the bill will be ineffective because it contains loopholes and enforcement relies on police, who are busy with other matters. Environment staff rebutted that there are dozens of enforcement officers within the department.

 
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