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  • Volume Eight, Number Eight: December 2003

    GVRD Residents support Pesticide By-law

    CPP News Service

    They may be needed for agriculture and gardening, but most lower mainland residents feel pesticide use should be curtailed and controlled for recreational purposes, according to a new poll.

    It says 80.6 percent of GVRD residents support municipal bylaws restricting the use of non-essential cosmetic pesticides. Burnaby and New Westminster registered the strongest support with 89.9 per cent of respondents favouring restrictions. The City of Vancouver was pegged at 81.1 per cent, followed by Surrey at 80.5 and 81.4 in the Tri-Cities. Support was lowest in Richmond at 72.3 per cent.

    The poll was conducted for by the the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation Mustel Group who interviewed 500 people in Greater Vancouver between Oct 01 and 09, 2003. Results are considered accurate within +/- 4.4 percentage points 95 per cent of the time.
    "This poll clearly shows that GVRD residents recognize that pesticides are harmful to the environment and present a risk to public health," said SPEC researcher Kyla Tienhaara. "Most people in Greater Vancouver want to see non-essential cosmetic pesticide use restricted." 

    The use of pesticides for "cosmetic" purposes is becoming a national issue following the landmark 2001 Supreme Court decision upholding a pesticide bylaw passed by Hudson, Quebec. Other cities, including Halifax and Toronto, have enacted by laws restricting cosmetic pesticides. Within the GVRD, Port Moody has taken the lead in developing a local bylaw on cosmetic pesticides.

    "We hope all municipalities in the GVRD will consider the results of this poll and follow the lead set by Port Moody, " said Tienhaara.

    Last year Vancouver City Council deferred a decision on implementing a by law restricting nonessential pesticides. A new report outlining a cosmetic pesticide bylaw is expected to go before Council's Planning and Environment Committee in November.

    "Bylaws alone will not solve the pesticide problem," said Tienhaara. "Regulations must be coupled with education and information to be effective." This autumn SPEC will launch a new section of its website, dedicated to providing information on pesticide issues.

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