The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
- 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.