|The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Volume Ten, Number Two March 2005 www.columbiajournal.ca
West Vancouver latest municipality to pass pesticide by-law
CPPNews - The District of West Vancouver Council passed a Pesticide Use Control By-law that prohibits anyone from applying ‘cosmetic’ or non-essential pesticides on public or private property in West Vancouver. The by-law, which comes into force on January 1, 2006, also has teeth. “6.2.1. Every person who commits an offence is liable on summary conviction to a fine or to imprisonment, or to both a fine and imprisonment, not exceeding $10,000.00.”
West Vancouver is the fourth Lower Mainland municipality to pass a by-law limiting pesticide use. Port Moody, Vancouver and New Westminster already have, or are developing, by-laws to restrict non-essential pesticide use. All are scheduled to come into effect in January 2006.
”We are pleased that West Vancouver has taken the lead on the North Shore in limiting the use of hazardous pesticides,” said SPEC President Gerry Thorne. “West Vancouver has prepared a well-thought out pesticide policy that combines a meaningful by-law with education and public awareness.”
In April 2004, SPEC appeared before West Vancouver Council in support of a petition by more than 1000 West Vancouver residents for a pesticide by-law. A subsequent staff report in December 2004 recommended a by-law because “staff accepts the premise that pesticides are harmful to human and animal health. It is our view that the precautionary principle should be applied in response to the issue of banning synthetic pesticides for cosmetic purposes.”
Until the by-law comes into effect next year, West Vancouver is promoting public education that encourages the use of natural pest controls such as insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, diatomaceous earth and other safe biological agents.
Pesticide use has been a major issue since the landmark 2001 Supreme Court decision upholding a by-law passed by Hudson, Quebec. More than 40 Canadian cities including Halifax, Toronto and Montreal have by-laws restricting cosmetic pesticides.
For safe alternatives to pesticides go to: http://www.spec.bc.ca/pesticides/ .
District of West Vancouver: www.westvancouver.ca