New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have weak “bans” as continued use is allowed through many exemptions and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

The following information is from the report by Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Cosmetic Pesticides – Provincial Policies & Municipal Bylaws:Lessons Learned & Best Practices.

In New Brunswick, under section 8 of the Pesticides Control Act, the Minister of Health banned the use and sale of 2,4-dicholorphenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) for the control of lawn pests in 2009. The New Brunswick Government also banned products that are considered overused or misused. They include combination pesticides (such as weed-and-feed products), hose-end pesticides (products that are designed to be applied using a garden hose), pesticide concentrates and pesticides requiring preparation (requires mixing, dilution, or some other form of mixing), and granular spreadable pesticides (small solid granules or pellets). The ban of these pest control products resulted in the removal of more than 200 lawn care pesticide products being used or sold.

Staff from lawn-care companies must register in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program approved by the New Brunswick Ministry of Environment to purchase and apply commercial lawn pesticides, other than 2,4-D products (which are prohibited). To reduce blanket treatments in favour of targeted spot treatments of problem areas, pesticides can only be applied on up to 50 per cent of a lawn, once per season. An exemption is permitted for blanket treatments of so-called insect infestations if a permit amendment from the Ministry of Environment is obtained. Golf courses are required to be affiliated with an authorized integrated pest management body. Golf courses who use integrated pest management practices are permitted to use 2,4-D to control pests appearing on the golf course.

Pesticide Free Nova Scotia in their paper ‘Follow Ontario and Quebec in Pesticide Policy, Not New Brunswick’ outlined some of the issues of concern regarding the New Brunswick policy:

  • New Brunswick allows continued cosmetic pesticide use on school grounds, parks, sports fields and other locations where children regularly congregate and play.
  • New Brunswick prohibits over-the-counter sales of only one active ingredient (2,4-D) used to make cosmetic pesticides. In comparison, Ontario’s comprehensive ban prohibits 84 active ingredients. Additional active ingredients may be added, as required, to the Ontario list of banned chemicals.
  • The New Brunswick policy creates barriers to the sale of green landscaping products, while allowing continued use of known toxins. For example, these regulations will not allow homeowners to purchase or use corn gluten, classified as a low risk product approved for use in Ontario and Quebec. At the same time, landscapers will be allowed to use pesticides which are known or suspected of being linked to cancer, neurological damage and reproductive damage. This situation has arisen because New Brunswick bans pesticides by product type [eg, all granular spreadables, all products applied at hose end] not by considering the toxicity of the product.
  • The policy objective of a comprehensive ban, such as those in Quebec and Ontario, is to eliminate cosmetic pesticide use (while allowing exceptions for public health and safety.) The policy objective in New Brunswick is to reduce use of cosmetic pesticides, with no clear targets or methodology to achieve this other than requiring companies to be certified in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a pesticide industry program which does not establish regulations or clear standards. IPM cannot be considered an appropriate part of a comprehensive ban because under this system pesticides continue to be used for cosmetic purposes.

In March 2015 The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, deemed glyphosate “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

In New Brunswick, Glyphosate is heavily used by forestry and power companies. GMWATCH reported the following political shenanigans.

In August 2015, Dr. Eilish Cleary, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, wrote to a Kent County resident that she and her staff concurred with the IARC finding on glyphosate and would be “developing a plan to further explore” the herbicide. By 2 November 2015 Dr Cleary was working on this study of the controversial herbicide when she was put on leave; later, on December 7, she was informed of termination of her employment.

On 9 November 2015, Dr. Jennifer Russell, the acting chief medical officer of health, said the glyphosate study was still going ahead, and that the office’s action plan would be complete before the 2016 spraying season.

In July 2016, CBC News reported that Dr Russell had released the long-awaited report on the use of glyphosate. It said there is “no increased risk for New Brunswickers exposed to glyphosate” and that “no additional actions are required to protect human health”. What a surprise!!

The provincial guidelines do not prevent the adoption of regulations at the municipal level.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island adopted the same rules that New Brunswick adopted in 2009. It thus has weak “bans” as continued use is allowed through many exemptions and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

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