Similar to regulations introduced in Ontario in 2015, Quebec announced this week that farmers will require an agronomist’s prescription before accessing any of the three neonicotinoid insecticides, chlorpyrifos (also an insecticide), and the herbicide atrazine.
Isabelle Melançon, Quebec’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, cited the risk to pollinators as the driving force behind the neonicotinoid restriction. Atrazine and chlorpyrifos are restricted due to the perceived risks to invertebrates and frogs.
Farmers looking to access the pesticides will have to receive sign-off through the province’s Ordre des agronomes du Québec (OAQ). They will also have to keep application records of all pesticides. Retail outlets will also have to track the pesticide sales and report those numbers to the province.
Just like Ontario, the Quebec government moved neonic-treated seeds into a new class of pesticide — class 3A. Unlike Ontario, the new regulation will also prohibit neonicotinoid sales to non-farmers for use on lawns and will regulate access for commercial purposes.
There will be funding made available “to help farmers reduce the risks associated with the use of pesticides and to adapt to the new measures introduced.” Farmers will have access to a fund of $14 million over five years.
The ministry also announced future plans to publish a report on retail sales of pesticides.