Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Opinion: Pesticide bylaw left where it belongs
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 26 Jul 2006, p. 6

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A cynic might suggest that Halton Region councillors took the easy way out recently when they turned down a citizens' group's request for a region-wide pesticide use bylaw. After all, when it comes to pesticide use, it's a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't and really, who wants to juggle that hot potato in an election year when it's not necessary? In fact, regional politicians left the decision for pesticide use where it belongs-- in the hands of municipal politicians. The Halton residents who appeared before council-- aka "environmentalists"-- urged councillors to "stop peddling the poisons" and have even asked some municipalities to introduce a bylaw to restrict the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on private property. To this group all pesticides are evil and the sooner their use is eliminated, the better. However, others insist that limited and selective use of pesticides on municipally-owned property is the more prudent route to follow. The region's health department concurs, as it continues to support a "prudent avoidance" approach to pesticides. "Prudent avoidance means relying on natural control and preventative measures and using chemical pesticides only when all other measures fail," a health department report states . "Halton will continue to promote a policy of prudent avoidance and work with its partners in building on the success of the Naturally Green education and awareness-raising program in the months ahead." In the end, regional council approved having chair Joyce Savoline write to the federal and provincial governments urging them to take a leadership role on the issue of restricting non-essential and cosmetic pesticide use. While that symbolic gesture is all well and good, we doubt either the provincial or federal government is ready to bump pesticide use to the top of their respective to-do lists. This has been a municipal issue for years and is likely to remain so.

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26 Jul 2006
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Halton Region
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Opinion: Pesticide bylaw left where it belongs