[Sust-mar] Urgent: Please respond quickly to save our Pesticide Bylaw

David Wimberly davidwimberly at eastlink.ca
Sun Mar 30 04:00:41 EDT 2014

In the late 1990's a group of folks, including me, devoted work over 
years to convince Halifax and the province to grant responsible 
management of the dangerous toxins known as cosmetic pesticides that are 
applied to landscapes.  Pesticides were causing severe problems for the 
health of our environment and are an easily avoided risk since there is 
only a cosmetic reason to use them.  Some folks face especially severe 
consequences due to environmental illness, pregnancy, and so on.  Please 
help us stop HRM staff from misleading our councillors and Mayor and 
undoing the work of years of building evidence and knowledge into 
by-laws that are needed to protect us. Please send in your emails and 
phone calls right away to them right away urging them to change course 
immediately and to not change what is working well.  There are only a 
few days to act so please do that right away.  And please spread this 
message widely.  Below is a message from Maureen Reynolds who is the 
point person on this message.  Contact her with any questions and offers 
to help.
Thank you - and do act now,
David Wimberly
The HRM just pulled a fast one and declared our HRM pesticide bylaw 
redundant and want to repeal it, using the incorrect reason that the 
Provincial Legislation is enough. Unfortunately, the Provincial cosmetic 
pesticide legislation is very weak. Together,  the two laws  complement 
each other wonderfully but the HRM staff claimed they were identical and 
therefore redundant.  This has already gone to first reading and we are 
hoping to get this sent back to staff (who, we are told, will reconsider 
their recommendations).  We need as many phone calls and letters as we 
can get in the next week asking HRM to save our Pesticide Bylaw.   I 
have included a poster, a model letter and a chart comparing the HRM 
Pesticide Bylaw with the Provincial Legislation (a copy of the report to 
Council is at the end.) Please write to Mayor and City Councilors asking 
to save our Bylaw and try to forward this to as many as you can – our 
time is only a few days.
Thank you,
Maureen Reynolds
mfreynolds at eastlink.ca

Save Our Pesticide Bylaw

Within a few days, HRM is voting to replace our Halifax Pesticide Bylaw 
by weak Provincial Legislation…These are complementary laws and we need 

If the HRM scraps the Pesticide Bylaw we will lose:

1)Mandatory buffer zones around schools, daycares, hospitals, clinics, 
senior citizens’ residences, universities and churches.

2)Pre-signage before more dangerous pesticides are used - eliminating 
our ability to avoid involuntary pesticide exposure.

3)Pre-notification when more toxic pesticide products are used.

4)The permitting process

Please write or phone our Mayor immediately to *ask HRM to keep our 
successful Pesticide Bylaw*.

Phone: 490- 4010; email:mayor at halifax.ca;

(too late to mail letters) or send letters addressed  to “ Mayor and 
City Councillors”:PO Box 1749, Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

Model Letter

Dear Mayor and City Councillors,

Please keep our HRM Pesticide Bylaw.

We do not want to lose:

1) Mandatory buffer zones around schools, daycares, hospitals, clinics, 
senior citizens’ residences, universities and churches.

2)Pre-signage when more dangerous pesticides are used, thus restricting 
our ability to avoid involuntary pesticide exposure.

3)Pre-notification of more toxic pesticide use

4)Permitting for use of toxic products.

Costs of these to taxpayers will be minimal compared to the costs of 
illnesses caused by involuntary exposures to these products.

Thank you


Address______________________________________________________ ____________

Phone number or email address if you 

Comparison of NS provincial Pesticide Regulation and HRM's Pesticide 
Bylaw P-800

Keeping both is the best way to protect health and environment because 
the two levels of protection are complementary.Items in

green print provide greater health protection.

*Halifax Regional Municipality Pesticide Bylaw:*



  Provincial Non Essential Pesticide Control Act.

*http://nslegislature.ca/legc/sol.htm(Act) and (Regulations) 

*HRM has Pre-Signage:*

*Pre-Signage is the most important aspect of our bylaw for those with 
life threatening symptoms to landscape pesticides (other than a total 
ban). It allows these individuals to be safe in their homes*. They 
include vulnerable populations like pregnant mothers, the unborn, 
children, the chronically ill, the elderly, pets, and the pesticide 
sensitive. These groups need to avoid pesticide drift by leaving their 
homes /prior/ to nearby spraying. Signs are posted 24 hours in advance 
and left up 4 days so these individuals can avoid persistent pesticide 
vapours and drift.


*No Pre-Signage. Without pre-signage many will have already been exposed 
by the time the sign goes up.This could be fatal for some and has 
previously left many citizens chronically ill for years.*


The inadequate provincial signage rules have not been improved. Only 
small signs, with hard to read print and poor weather resistance, are 
required by the province; these are put up after the event and taken 
down early.

  Buffer Zones -The HRM has pesticide free buffer zones around “a
  property containing any school, licensed day care centre, park,
  playground, licensed senior citizens’ residence, university, church or


*Buffer Zones -*The province has no such buffer zones.

Note: /Neither law has any provision for buffer zones for wellhead 
protection to protect drinking water wells or reservoirs./

*Effectiveness*- Despite not having jurisdiction over sales and 
commercial properties,there has been a huge reduction in pesticide use 
on municipal & most residential properties (i.e., a steady reduction in 
compliance problems).

      Stability– a public hearing is customary and appropriate for any
      proposed changes to the bylaw.


*Effectiveness*– Yet to be determined, but annual audits show that 
compliance issues are increasing each year.Pesticides sales now approved 
at 38 locations.

*Low Stability- *regulations could easily be reversed at any time 
without public hearings.This is a possibility with any change in government.

*The list of allowable materials in Administrative Order 23 *has been 
guided successfully by the Organic Materials Review Institute’s (OMRI) 
_Approved Materials List_ for the last decade.Allowable Materials can be 
easily updated or changed if needed without affecting the Pesticide 
bylaw itself.


*The**allowable list of less toxic products *is based on Health Canada’s 
Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s less toxic products list; their 
history and policies regarding safer materials have provided 
insufficient reliability and protection in the past.

Can only be changed by Provincial government.

*Permitting System*The HRM benefits from the permitting system that has 
been used for over a decade. It has lowered pesticide usage and 
encouraged proper identification of pests, education about alternatives 
and proper pest management, as well as the dangers of pesticide use.

*Education*is site specific, especially important and absolutely 
necessary in high-density population areas like cities and towns. The 
Pesticide By-law has a proven success record: “Permit applications have 
fallen approximately ten-fold since 2003 to 440 in 2008, and complaints 
have fallen almost 20-fold in the same period. HRM’s effort has shifted 
from permitting and enforcement towards education and awareness” (Staff 


*No Permitting System*Decisions to approve the sale of pesticide 
products not on the allowable list are up to the buyer (who will be 
given a pamphlet regarding exceptions). Therefore decisions are made by 
companies that profit from the sale or use of pesticides. Anyone, 
landscaper or resident, can buy a toxic product if they think they have 
an exceptional pest.

The definitions of “exception” are vague and need tightening.

All NS municipalities have the right to make stronger regulations than 
those passed by the province. An example would be requiring pre-signage 
and notification in their bylaws.

      Education - Success yet to be determined, but unlike the HRM,
      education will be without the benefit of an inspector seeing the
      actual property and therefore cannot be site specific.

*Areas affected*– lawns, outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers, and other 
ornamental plants on residential and municipal properties. All 
herbicides are explicitly prohibited. Does not include Commercial 


*Areas effected*- It was a 2-year phase in. Regulations did not include 
trees and shrubs until 2012. Vegetable gardens can be sprayed. All 
properties are included: municipal, commercial & residential.

*Notification*: Requirements read,“The owner of a property, prior to 
carrying out a pesticide application on the owner’s property ... shall 
notify the owner of ... any property all or a part of which is within a 
50 metre radius of the property to which the pesticide application is to 
be made, received within 5 days of the proposed application.” This 
requirement is important in densely populated areas where one lawn could 
affect many in nearby homes and apartments.


*Notification: *Advance notice is required only of landscapers and for 
next-door neighbors *who have specifically requested notification*. 
Therefore there is incomplete protection for vulnerable populations to 
avoid exposure to pesticides.HRM’s Pesticide Bylaw Advisory Committee 
documented numerous adverse reactions to drifting pesticides applied 
four houses away.

*Item No.11.1.4*

*Halifax Regional Council *

*March 18, 2014 *


clip_image003[2]*TO:* Mayor Savage and Members of Halifax Regional Council


Mike Labrecque, Acting Chief Administrative Officer


  _____________________________________________________________ _

**John Traves, Director of Legal, Insurance & Risk Management Services


*DATE:* February 17, 2014

*SUBJECT:* Proposed By-law R-107, An Amendment to By-law R-100 
Respecting the

Repeal of By-laws and Ordinances




This report originates from Legal Services in relation to the By-law 
Review Project, which involves the review, updating, and consolidation 
of by-laws.


/Halifax Regional Municipality Charter /(“/HRM Charter/”)/,/ section 188 
(1) (a) - Council’s powers to make by-laws for the health, well-being, 
safety and protection of persons.

/HRM Charter/, section 186.2 - a by-law must not be inconsistent with an 
enactment of the Province or of Canada.

/HRM Charter,/ section 188(1)(j) – Council’s powers to make by-laws 
respecting the regulation of pesticides.

/HRM Charter/, section 369(1) – Council’s powers to create offences and 
set penalties.

Halifax Regional Municipality By-Law R-100 /Respecting the Repeal of 
By-laws and Ordinances /

(“By-law R-100”), and Schedules “B”, “D” and “E” to that by-law.

Administrative Order 32, the /By-law Development Administrative Order. /



It is recommended that Halifax Regional Council enact By-law R-107 to 
repeal the following:

1.By-law S-203 Respecting Smoke Free Places (HRM)

2.By-law H-300 Halifax County Regional Rehabilitation Centre (HRM)

3.By-law P-800 Respecting the Regulation of Pesticides, Herbicides and 
Insecticides (HRM)

4.Administrative Order 23 Respecting Pesticides, Herbicides and 
Insecticides Excluded From the Pesticides By-law

5.By-law No. 1 Interpretation By-law (County)

6.By-law No. 16 Penalties By-law (County)

7.By-law P-300 Penalties By-law (Dartmouth)


    /_By-law P-800 Pesticides By-law, and AO 23 Permitted Pesticides (HRM)_/

On August 15, 2000, Regional Council enacted By-law P-800 Respecting the 
Regulation of

Pesticides, Herbicides and Insecticides (“By-law P-800”). It also 
enacted Administrative Order 23 which set out a list of pesticides 
exempt from By-law P-800. At the time of the adoption of By-law P-800 
there was no provincial law regulating the residential use of 
pesticides. By-law P-800 came into full effect April 1, 2003.

On May 11, 2010 the Province passed the /Non-Essential Pesticides 
Control Act/ (The “/Pesticides /

/Act/”). The provisions of the /Pesticides Act/ were phased in and came 
into full effect on April 1, 2012. The /Pesticides Act/ prohibits the 
use and sale of some pesticides, while allowing certain pesticides to be 
used and sold. The prohibitions for the use and sale of a pesticide do 
not apply to pesticides named on the /List of Allowable Pesticides 
Regulations/, which were enacted pursuant to the /Pesticides Act/.

The list of allowed pesticides under the /Pesticides Act/ and 
Regulations is now the same as those permitted under By-law P-800 and 
Administrative Order 23. Originally, one pesticide (FeHEDTA) was 
permitted by the province but was not permitted by HRM.However, that 
conflict was resolved on June 7, 2011 when Council added FeHEDTA to the 
list of permitted pesticides in Administrative Order 23.

    /_By-law P-800 Pesticides By-law, and AO 23 Permitted Pesticides (HRM)_/

Thirteen years ago, when there was no provincial legislation dealing 
with pesticides, HRM took a proactive approach and passed a by-law to 
regulate the use of pesticides. However, HRM’s By-law P-800 and 
Administrative Order 23 were subsequently superseded by provincial 
legislation and are now redundant.

It is noted that from an operational perspective there is no action 
taking place under this by-law. HRM has not issued pesticide permits or 
dealt with enforcement issues since the provincial

/Pesticides Act/ and regulations were phased in.These matters are now 
dealt with by the province.

If By-law P-800 is repealed, Schedule “E” to By-law R-100 must be 
amended to add By-law P-800 to the list of repealed HRM by-laws, and the 
attached policy to repeal Administrative Order 23 (Attachment F) should 
be enacted.

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