“The new Cosmetic Pesticide ban will severely impact the lives and livelihood of many of our members, their employees and families,” says Landscape Ontario’s executive director Tony DiGiovanni. There are approximately 1,300 lawn care companies that employ approximately 15,000 licensed applicators and 5,000 technicians. “These are real numbers representing real people,” says DiGiovanni.
Landscape Ontario originally gave conditional support to the cosmetic ban, as long as the Regulations allowed limited use of products to deal with infestations and Integrated Pest Management Accreditation. The association withdrew support when the draft regulations were announced.
“The proposed Regulations risk more than these 20,000 Ontario jobs,” says DiGiovanni. “By providing no solution to control damaging landscape infestations, these Regulations say to the Ontario public that our lawns and gardens are a non-essential part of our environment. While skilled workers join Ontario’s growing ranks of unemployed, frustrated homeowners will see the destruction of their lawns and landscapes requiring unmanageable, and avoidable, renovation costs. In addition, the lawn destruction risked by these Regulations will lead to increased soil erosion and a reduction in important carbon sinks in our built environments.”
“The Regulations are extreme illogical, and not based on facts and science,” says DiGiovanni. “All we are asking for is controlled access to a few Health Canada registered products to deal with serious infestations on our lawns and gardens, as defined by the Ontario government itself. These are products Health Canada determines can be used safely when label directions are followed. Limited use by licensed, IPM-accredited technicians should be allowed until effective alternatives are discovered. Contrary to this, these Regulations fail to recognize Health Canada’s reduced risk pesticide list, thereby putting at risk research and innovation in reduced risk and alternative product development in Ontario.”
The approach proposed by industry professionals would drastically reduce pesticide risk while protecting our green infrastructure and allowing the development of better products and processes.
“The industry and activists are really not far apart. We all want a safe, prosperous world with a clean and healthy environment. Green-industry members believe in environmental activism, and improve and enhance the environment every day through their occupation. Let’s work together to promote effective lawn care practices and to encourage the introduction of better products,” say the professionals in Landscape Ontario.
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