Town of Markham

Town of Markham

June 20, 2008 17:22 ET

Ontario's Pesticide Bill Needs to Match Municipal Standards

New bill eliminates municipal control of existing pesticide bylaws

MARKHAM, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 20, 2008) - Markham applauds the Ontario government for taking an important step in controlling pesticide use through Bill 64, but the bill as passed sets a precedent for municipal governance, especially in the area of public health.

Markham and other municipalities already have stringent pesticide bylaws in place. "Regulations developed with Bill 64 may strike down Markham's local pesticide bylaw," said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. "That concerns us because our bylaw is strong and Markham wants to maintain this high standard. But we're not just concerned about Markham. Every municipality should have the right to pass laws more protective than the provincial statute, particularly for public health."

Markham Councillor Erin Shapero, Chair of Markham's Environment and Sustainability Committee, said, "Markham has shown leadership on a number environmental issues, and our pesticide bylaw is a good example. I'll be extremely disappointed if regulations within Bill 64 move us backwards. Markham retailers have removed products from their shelves in response to our bylaw. Some of these same products would be permitted according to product lists published by the government."

"We will continue to work with the province over the coming months on the drafting of the specific regulations", said Mayor Scarpitti. "Our bylaw, and the bylaws of other municipalities, should be used to help model provincial regulations made under Bill 64 to achieve the highest standards in the interest of public health.

Markham, a municipality of more than 285,000 residents northeast of Toronto, is Canada's most diverse community. Renowned for a rich heritage, vibrant neighbourhoods and environmental leadership, Markham is also the home of many of Canada's leading life science and technology businesses.

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