Phase-out plan unveiled

Published: Thursday 15 August 2002

Parks, schools and hospitals in Quebec would soon become pesticide-free. Thanks to the pressure mounted by the public and environmental groups, this Canadian province will ban the use of most non-farm pesticides by 2005.

The ban on the use of 30 highly noxious pesticides on public land will come into force with immediate effect. Later, the prohibition will be extended to private and commercial lands. However, pesticide use on agricultural land will not be affected. The Quebec decision follows a 2001 Canadian Supreme Court ruling allowing cities to ban the use of pesticides in residential areas.

While announcing the ban, Quebec environment minister Andre Boisclair said, "The people's health is more important than a perfect lawn. I enjoin residents to no longer use pesticides." He said the sale of fertiliser and pesticide combination products will be banned by next year and added that direct access to more noxious products used at home will be prohibited by 2004.

Golf courses will also have to formulate plans to cut the use of pesticides by 2005. As a deterrent, fines for non-compliance ranging from us $325 to us $1,960 would be imposed.

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