The Manitoba government has passed legislation amending the Environment Act to give Manitobans the choice to be able to purchase and use cosmetic pesticides on their lawns that are already registered with Health Canada and, out of an abundance of caution, the list of sensitive areas that would be protected from the application of these products has been expanded. These protected areas include schools, hospitals, child-care centres, provincial parks, designated municipal picnic areas, playgrounds and dog parks.

The current cosmetic pesticide restrictions were put in place in 2015.

Previously, the province launched a public consultation to review those regulations, and in March of this year introduced amendments to the Environment Act to allow for flexibility in the use of cosmetic pesticides.

In that consultation, more than 60 per cent of respondents indicated restrictions on the sale and usage of pesticides for cosmetic use were too strict, and over 70 per cent of respondents wanted restrictions reduced or rescinded.

Meanwhile, municipalities have reported the previous approach added unnecessary costs because of repeated applications. The legislation allows the use of all Health Canada-registered cosmetic pesticides in low-risk areas like boulevards, sidewalks, right-of-ways and fairgrounds. Manitobans will also have the ability to apply all pesticides registered with Health Canada on their lawns.

“Our government is committed to protecting the environment and we rely on science to inform the proper use of cosmetic pesticides. We recognize Health Canada as the foremost expert in this field to evaluate pesticides used in Manitoba,” said Wharton. “Pesticides registered with Health Canada go through a rigorous review process that assesses the risk of pesticides to human health, animal health and the environment, and must meet strict health and safety measures. Manitoba will continue to rely on Health Canada to evaluate pesticide products and all pesticides sold and used in Manitoba must be federally registered under the Pest Control Products Act.”