B.C. law-makers eye blanket pesticide ban

Committee weighs potential impacts of tougher regulation

BC Liberal MLA Margaret MacDiarmid

A provincial committee has convened to consider a possible blanket ban on home use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes throughout B.C.

Liberal MLA Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, a cancer survivor, heads the bipartisan special committee now weighing the potential to outlaw the sale of pesticides and the possible impact on farmers and forestry.

Dozens of B.C. cities already have local bans on residential use but MacDiarmid said the ability to buy a herbicide or insecticide in one area and use it in another means there are grounds to consider a B.C. standard.

“There’s a real patchwork around the province,” she said.

Retailers currently sell pesticides even in cities where their use is banned.

The Canadian Cancer Society argues long-term exposure to residential pesticides poses a cancer threat to children.

New Democrats have already been pressing for tighter rules.

NDP leader Adrian Dix this spring proposed a ban on the sale of high-risk pesticides, leaving residents only able to use lower risk alternatives.