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Did the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario ban the right ‘pests’?

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  1. Introduction
    1. Background information
    2. What are pesticides?
  2. Examples of important pesticide uses
    1. Why are pesticides a problem?
  3. Health risks
  4. Environmental risks
  5. Legal discussion
    1. What is being done at the federal level in Canada?
    2. What is being done at the municipal level?
    3. The pesticide bylaw: The city of Toronto
    4. Effects of the Toronto Bylaw
    5. Other municipal pesticide bans across Canada
  6. What is being done at the provincial level?
    1. The Ontario law: Bill 62, the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act
    2. Is the Ontario Law the right step?
    3. The pros
    4. The cons
    5. Exceptions to the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act
  7. Are Toronto residents and Ontario residents satisfied with the pesticide bans?
  8. Conclusion

Recently, a lot of attention has been paid to the issue of cosmetic pesticide use in Canada. For years, chemical pesticides were readily sprayed on gardens and lawns across the country, with very little consideration given to the fact that they might be harmful to the environment. However, with the public's growing concern about the safety of these pesticides, many municipal and provincial governments across Canada were forced to take action and address some of these issues about the safety of pesticides. In order to deal with these issues in Canada, a number of municipal bylaws and provincial laws were passed banning the use of pesticides over wide areas, like towns, cities, or provinces. The specific focus of this research paper will be on what the city of Toronto has done in order to protect its citizens from the harmful effects of pesticides. In examining the steps that the city of Toronto has taken, one must also consider the new provincial law in Ontario that was passed in 2008, banning the use of pesticides province-wide. The implementation of this new provincial law has had a direct impact on the city of Toronto by making Toronto's pesticide bylaw obsolete, and this report will examine some of the issues that arose after the passing of this new provincial law.

[...] So, while the bylaw was passed in 2004, it did not go into full effect until 2007, and it was in full effect in Toronto up until 2008, when the province of Ontario passed its own law banning the use of pesticides in Ontario. When Toronto's Pesticide Bylaw was passed, it was one of the first of its kind in the province of Ontario. The City of Toronto relied on neighbors and other citizens to report the illegal use of pesticides if they see people applying cosmetic pesticides to their lawns or gardens. [...]

[...] In order to get a better understanding of public support for pesticide regulations in Toronto and Ontario, it is important to look at public opinion regarding The City of Toronto's Pesticide Bylaw and Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act. After several polls of Ontario residents were conducted in 2007, it was found that approximately 71% of Ontario residents supported a province-wide ban on pesticides, while only 22% opposed it, and were undecided on the issue. Before the pesticide bylaw was passed in Toronto, the city conducted a survey, trying to gauge a better understanding of public opinion concerning this matter of cosmetic pesticide use. [...]

[...] This provision in the Bill implies that all municipal bylaws will be made inoperative, and every municipality in the province of Ontario must adhere to the Ontario's new Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act. This same issue was addressed in Quebec (the first province in Canada to implement a province-wide pesticide ban) in Section 102 of Quebec's Pesticide Management Code, where it states: The provisions of the Pesticide Management Code and of the other regulations of this Act prevail over any inconsistent provision of any by- law passed by a municipality or metropolitan community. [...]

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