As spring gradually approaches, we are confronted with a new threat to healthy gardens and ecosystems. The Government of Manitoba is considering Bill 22, which will loosen current restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides. Currently banned pesticides will be permitted for residential use and retail sales will be unlimited if Bill 22 passes. This legislation will reverse the 2015 restrictions on non-essential cosmetic pesticides.
The current pesticide ban is consistent with science-based public policy. Serious health risks have been documented when humans, especially children, are exposed to pesticides. Pesticides also pose a serious threat to pets, pollinators, waterways, and biodiversity as a whole. Meanwhile, studies show that adequate weed control can be achieved without unrestricted pesticide use by changing landscaping practices.
The group Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Manitoba has sprung into action to respond to Bill 22. We encourage you to learn more about this situation by visiting their website, sending a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, and signing up to speak at Legislative Committee hearings. Every bit of help matters.