Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nanny McGuinty pushes province-wide pesticide ban

This is a topic that really hits close to home because last year our own Region put in a compromise ban on pesticides during the months of July and August only. Coupled with the lack of rain, this has had a devastating effect on people's lawns. Only lawn companies are allowed to apply pesticides during these months and then only in situations of extreme infestation and lots of signage. Many folks have simply given up rather than incur the extra cost.

I also read a few weeks ago that next year the Region may be sending out lawn police to check soil samples in lush lawns to make sure nobody is using pesticides during banned months.

Now Premier McGuinty wants to enact a province-wide ban on pesticides. In one way, it might be good to have a uniform law, rather than this patchwork of city and regional bylaws on the issue.

However, it does mean another ban on a product that Health Canada is still allowing for sale on the store shelves; just like tobacco.

So where do we draw the line between safety and a homeowners right to protect his investment?

There are some environmentalist dingbats in Waterloo who are still not satisfied with the partial ban. They prefer to see dirt and weeds in place of lawns, I guess.

A total ban would have a devastating effect on lawn care companies and their employees. As Richard Maas of Peerless Turfcare notes:

A total ban will destroy lawns and force residents to try to use pesticides on their own because they won't be able to hire a lawn-care company, he said.

"They're not going to stop people from using pesticides," he said. "They'll just kill our industry."

The regional ban has already cut into Maass's business this summer because large commercial clients who usually purchase extra lawn-care services on top of pesticide spraying are cancelling their contracts.

Maass said he's lost about 200 customers this year and as much as $40,000 in business.

"Companies are laying off people in the middle of summer when they should be busy or doing more hiring," he said. "But nobody is crying the blues about the loss of jobs in our industry."

Yet pesticides continue to be used on farms. According to a 2005 report by The College of Family Physicians of Ontario "many fruits, including peaches, apples, pears and grapes, were found to contain residues of pesticides". The Globe article states however, that "the ban the Liberal Party is contemplating would not apply to farmers."

Great. We can eat the stuff but we can't have it on our lawns.

This subject gets my blood boiling to the extent that I'm having trouble looking at it objectively.

Let's see, what's left to ban in Ontario now?

How about McGuinty?

One thing for sure - I was ambivalent about this election until now.

Dalton, this is the last straw - which is what my lawn is going to be if you get re-elected.


Ruth said...

I can never figure them banning weed killers. Do the allergy sufferers not matter. Guess we just take more drugs for hayfever when the weeds get worse.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Ruth - Good point. My allergies have never been as bad as this summer.

Dave said...

This one is going to hit a nerve with the 'silent majority' come election time, imo. Way too much "governing" (ie. dictating) for the average homeowner to accept; those of us who simply want to enjoy our property and protect our investment, need to step up to the plate and voice the other side of this argument.

For example, a lush, disease free lawn surrounding a home (or business), actually helps reduce the interior temperature during those dog days of summer. A spinoff benefit to this is a reduction in energy use, as air conditioners can be set higher to achieve an acceptable comfort level within. Now isn't that the 'environmentally responsible' approach?

Dirk said...

"Do the allergy sufferers not matter."


Killing the weeds in your garden won't make a stitch of difference for pollen-related allergies.

First of all, very few of the weeds one would find in a typical lawn causes allergic reactions (ie. dandelions, thistles, plantains). Many of the most serious allergens are actually tree-based. Second of all, you'd have to kill every weed in every forest, field, or ditch for miles around your home.

That anyone's seasonal allergies are now worse has nothing in the world to do with any herbicide bans.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Way too much "governing" (ie. dictating) for the average homeowner to accept

Dave not only that but can you imagine the unionized bureaucracy that Dalton will be able to hire to police property-owners? It is a socialist's dreamworld.

Anonymous said...

Why not educate the population first before an outright ban? As long as folks can buy the stuff on the free market you can impose a ban.

Also, policing this ban will cost municipalities money they do NOT have.

Who does Dalton want to target here?
Responsible use of products or idiot homeowners who get up early Sunday mornings and spray too much on with no protection to themselve or neighbours?

Nanny State Ontario is right in line with Ontario Lemming Nation.

This government is telling us how to live, how to raise our kids, what to eat, how "involved" to be in our kids education, anything else??

Good grief. You'd think we were in Cuba not democratic Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Dear allergy sufferers.
Blame Global Warming or Mike Harris.
That works for the looney left these days it seems.

Anonymous said...

To anon. - could you please post a picture of a lemming. I don't even know what one looks like. Is there a resemblance?

Anonymous said...

Have you people been sleeping or something in the last few years?

I live in rural Ontario where there are plenty of weeds and the "natural" weed killer companies are doing very well indeed.

You can also make your own natural weed killer at home. Try it.


4 cups water
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp. dish detergent

....and it works.

liberal supporter said...


from the article:
The myth of lemming mass suicide is long-standing and has been popularized by a number of factors. It is usually stated that the main source of the belief in the suicide myth was propagated by The Walt Disney Company documentary White Wilderness which includes footage of lemmings running head-long over a ledge. The filmmakers contrived this scene by forcing a number of lemmings off a cliff.[7]

Due to their association with this odd behavior, lemming suicide is a frequently-used metaphor in reference to people who go along unquestioningly with popular opinion, with potentially dangerous or fatal consequences

Anonymous said...

Liberals want to take all your money AND tell you how you should live.

Wealthy Unions, preferred ethnics, teachers, nurses, massive bureaucracies - are all gonna get paid off by Dolton McLiar before the election: and the average person will get screwed again.

John said...

Preferred ethnics?

Wow Joanne, you certainly are attracting a fine lot to your blog today.

PGP said...

It just keeps getting better all the time! eh?

What a bunch of loons this Government of Ontario is.... although I am forced to admit we have the same type of sanctimonious finger waggers running Manitoba....still!

Anonymous said...

All this tells me is that McGuinty shows no respect or acknowledgement of those communities who've struggled with this issue for a number of years.

They should have done nothing and let Dalton take the credit.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Wow Joanne, you certainly are attracting a fine lot to your blog today.

Obviously, I don't endorse every comment on this blog. However Anon may be referring to Cricketgate.

Anonymous said...

Yo! John the narrow minded!

Is McLiar handing out millions in cash to every ethnic group? the Ukrainians, Albanians & Polish?

Or is he handing out millions to target groups that traditionally whip their community organizations into voting en masse?

Racists like John reveal their bigotry easily.

Moebius said...

Haven't put chemical weed-killers on my lawn in years.

I pull the little bastards, for the most part, and live with the occasional weed growing. The lawn looks pretty good.

Chemical weed-killers are probably safe, when used as directly, but the average home-owner does not, they figure more is better.

My libertarian side says let people do what they want on their property. Goat sacrifice, anyone!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW Dave, great point earlier about grass helping to save energy. ;)

Anon - Thanks for the weed killer recipe.

Moebius - I use a lawn service, but they only apply herbicides as needed - Never just spraying everything in sight. I hate that. Sometimes I just dig them out myself. If you keep the grass on the long side there will be less weeds.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time in Canada and elsewhere, green lawns were beautifully maintained without the use of toxic poisons. Turf was mowed high, grass clipping were left behind (they add nitrogen and suppress weeds), grounds were regularly overseeded and non-toxic fertilizers, such as compost were applied. Clover was added: it supplies moisture and pulls nitrogen from the air. Then came the poisons, very lucrative to the chemical companies. These poisons were applied regularly, whether there were weeds or not. Suburbia was turned into an ill-smelling battlefield. People and pets got sick and even died. Lies and outrageous misinformation, such as pesticides are good for allergies, were being spread. Meanwhile, in communities that have adopted pesticide bylaws and bans the lawn industry that was willing to adapt is doing great. Ask Halifax!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

People and pets got sick and even died.

So now in Halifax, people and pets don't die anymore? Tough for the funeral industry...