Manitoba’s New Government Reassessing Cosmetic Pesticide Ban

Just over a year after Manitoba’s former NDP government implemented its cosmetic pesticide ban, the province’s new PC government says it wants to hear from Manitobans on the impact of the “Non-Essential Use of Pesticides Regulation.”

“The purpose of the legislation is to reduce the exposure of people and pets to herbicides used in lawn care for non-essential or cosmetic purposes,” noted Cathy Cox, Minister of Sustainable Development — the new name for the department formerly known as “Conservation and Water Stewardship.”

“We are committed to finding the right balance between protecting the environment, minimizing the impact, and providing usable, aesthetic green spaces in our communities,” she continued, in a statement issued Monday.

Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba Beef Producers and other farm groups have opposed the ban, saying it misleads the public on the health effects of weed control products approved by Health Canada. There are also concerns about growing weed populations in farm fields adjacent to residential areas, and the creation of an unregulated market, as residential property owners find alternative sources for restricted products.

The government is inviting Manitobans to email their feedback to [email protected] or respond through this online survey. Comments will be accepted until September 12.

The ban does not apply to agriculture or the control of noxious weeds. As a side note, the province recently updated the Noxious Weeds Act. The changes have received Royal Assent, but have not yet been proclaimed as work is still underway on the regulations.

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Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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