TORONTO, Ontario – On Friday, May 11, Ted Chudleigh, Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP for Halton, introduced a Private Members Bill in the Ontario Legislature concerning pesticide use. 
 
The Bill would amend the Pesticides Act by allowing individuals to hire a licensed operator to apply pesticides to their lawns and gardens to kill noxious weeds and pests.  CropLife Canada did not have a hand in drafting the Bill, nor were we consulted prior to its introduction. The Bill appears to be the result of growing dissatisfaction in Ontario with the ban. 
 
It has been CropLife Canada’s longstanding position that Health Canada approved pesticides are safe when used as directed and that products are assessed for each particular use – specifically, commercial products used by licenced applicators and domestic products used by homeowners.
 
This is, however, a Private Members Bill, and as such it is almost certain to be defeated when a vote is called after its allotted debate time.  (Liberal and NDP MPPs will likely vote en masse against the Bill.)  The positive part of the Bill is that it puts the broader issue on the public agenda again, forcing Liberal MPPs to take a stance that may not be popular with some of their constituents.
 
CropLife Canada would welcome a thorough discussion with the agricultural/lawncare industries to propose workable amendments to the ban for the Opposition.
 
The Bill was scheduled for debate in the Ontario Legislature on May 31st. CropLife Canada spoke to Chudleigh and his staff, and was scheduled to meet with him personally at the Ontario Legislature the day before debate.  CropLife Canada says it will monitor the legislative debate and media coverage for any developments of interest.