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Charlottetown to discuss cosmetic pesticides

Council voted 5-4 to formally ask the province to step into the debate, a move the Pat Binns government has been urging them to take.

    * FROM MAY 21, 2004: Toronto council endorses pesticide ban

But the city went further by also passing a motion calling for an ad-hoc committee made up of councillors, provincial representatives and those from health groups and the pesticide industry to see if a control or full-ban bylaw can be created.

"This process is far, far from over. It really is," said Councillor Philip Brown, chair of the environment committee. "A little dent in the long road ahead.

"But I believe that second resolution is the most important."

Brown could not say if pesticide companies, which contend the current crop of residential pesticides are not harmful to health, would be prepared to participate in committee work.

He did say a meeting later this week would discuss which councillors would sit on the committee.

Cosmetic or ornamental pesticides are used to kill weeds and other unwanted growth on lawns and gardens, in parks and on golf courses.

At least one Canadian city, Toronto, has a full ban on pesticides in place.

Dawn Binns, executive director of the P.E.I. chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society, said Monday's council decision would force municipal and provincial authorities to work together.

"I think now we're going to hold the city accountable and we're going to hold the province accountable," she said. "And we're going to work with both of them to see how we can protect everyone."