EDITORIAL: Less toxic environs

It looks as if B.C. will soon get a ban on cosmetic pesticides.

On Thursday, newly-minted NDP leader Adrian Dix proposed legislation to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides across the province, then challenged Premier Christy Clark to take action.

Clark, the new BC Liberal leader, says she has supported a ban for years and wants to work with the opposition and the public to work out the best way to further restrict the use of lawn and garden weed killers.

If the two leaders can work together to pass a bill it would be a promising sign that bi-partisan co-operation is possible in a forum more noted for rancorous debate.

We are not sure how much there is to study. The dumping of toxic chemicals on such weeds as dandelions and chickweed  is unnecessary. Why should those who don’t weed by hand endanger others by creating a toxic environment?

The province can look to such cities as White Rock, which has had a pesticide ban in place since July 2008; and Surrey, which first enacted a bylaw in 2010, and further strengthened it last January. The bylaws came about in part from pressure from the people in various communities. In the case of Richmond – which has had a cosmetic pesticides bylaw since 2009 – the Richmond Pesticide Awareness Coalition was formed by concerned citizens, some of whom had actually been sprayed by weedicidal maniacs.

The message is being heard, and B.C. appears set to join Ontario and Quebec with province-wide bans

More than 20 cities throughout B.C. have already banned cosmetic pesticide use. But for such a ban to be effective, it needs to be province-wide, so people can’t buy their dandelion death juice from a neighbouring municipality.

Here’s to a less toxic environment, both in the legislature and on our lawns.

– Black Press

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