Local proponents of a pesticide ban had added reason to celebrate Earth Day yesterday after the province introduced legislation to stop the cosmetic use and sale of lawn and garden pesticides.
“I’m breaking out the champagne,” said Councillor Alex Cullen, who twice brought forward a bylaw to ban pesticides in the city.
The ban, likely to take effect next spring, will replace pesticide bylaws already in place across 32 Ontario municipalities. It won’t affect use for farming, forestry and golf courses, or for control mosquitoes that can carry disease.
“Over the past decade, we’re seeing more and more decisive evidence indicating the health risks associated with cosmetic pesticides,” said Cullen.
Although Cullen’s 2005 motion to ban pesticides in Ottawa was narrowly defeated, it had strong support from the Medical Officer of Health, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Hospital. The city currently offers workshops for pesticide-free gardening and does not use pesticides on its properties. Cullen said he’ll be asking council to support the provincial initiative.
“We’re looking at the connection with things like Parkinson’s, autism and attention deficit disorder,” said Meg Sears, an adjunct investigator at the CHEO Research Institute.

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