Manitoba Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Up for Discussion


Once again, there is talk of a cosmetic pesticide ban for Manitoba. This isn’t the first time this has been discussed; Manitoba is also not the first province to entertain such a ban — one exists in whole or in part in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and PEI. Ontario introduced its ban even while expanding online gaming. Shaun Haney, back in 2009, observed that apparently black jack and online gaming is much safer than government-vetted pesticides.

For more discussion on Ontario’s ban, see Shaun Haney’s coverage here.

In Manitoba, the province is asking for feedback on the proposed ban by October 1, 2012. The ban does not extend to all pesticides. Insecticides for the control of mosquitoes would not be banned in city limits.

What does it really matter, though, this banning of products that seek only to make a lawn “look nice”? Sure, dandelions are a bit nasty and choke out more desirable plants and grasses, but is having a uniform green lawn all that important? Well, to some it is. Personally, I think the traditional lawn is a ludicrous idea; I’d rather have low maintenance perennials and trees, or enough grass to graze some livestock instead of a patch of sod that requires weekly mowing and produces nothing but a cushy place for the kids to play. But I digress.

The sticking point, I think, is that this provincial government is taking a rather large leap into your backyard and saying what you may and may not do. These herbicides have been deemed safe by our federal government and yet are now being limited to use on farmers’ fields. So are they safe or not? And, perhaps more importantly, is this the “thin edge of the wedge”, a first of many steps in controlling what does and does not happen on your own plot of land?

What do you think? Is the government over-extending its reach? Do you think this proposed pesticide ban, if passed, will eventually endanger farmers’ rights to spray as they see fit?

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