The David Susuki Foundation and Esquiterre have also tracked the changes and their outcomes following restrictions to cosmetic pesticide use in Canadian provinces up to 2011 (Pesticide Free? Oui!). Their review made 7 recommendations and found that the regulatory frameworks in Ontario and Nova Scotia were most consistent with them, offering the best models for protecting human health and the environment from cosmetic pesticides – although there is still room for improvement.
Cosmetic pesticide bans adopted by the provinces only apply to the non-essential use of certain pesticides used for aesthetic purposes. These laws explicitly state that such pesticides can nonetheless be used where public health or safety is an issue.
Several provincial regulations (e.g. Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec) use “black lists” to identify the pesticides or products that cannot be used. Three provinces—Ontario, Nova Scotia and Manitoba—provide a “white list” to identify the products that can be used. A white list identifies all of the pesticides that can be used for cosmetic purposes.
In their review, ‘Cosmetic Pesticides – Provincial Policies & Municipal Bylaws: Lessons Learned & Best Practices’, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment evaluated provincial pesticide restrictions up to August 2016 and identified the following best practice approaches:
- Combine a legal mechanism (provincial law/municipal bylaw) with extensive public education, monitoring and enforcement;
- Structured a ban around a white list that identifies acceptable and safe pesticides to use for cosmetic purposes;
- Ensure that the ban is sufficiently broad and covers all landscape elements;
- Tightly limit and define exceptions; and
- Ensure that provincial jurisdiction create strong cosmetic pesticide bans and allow municipalities to add additional layers of protection (through a bylaw) if the need exists within the local context.
Provincial regulation can regulate the sale, as well as the use of pesticides.
The strength of regulation differs markedly between provinces: