Pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides and other chemicals targeted at different types of pests, are intended to kill or suppress “pests.” As a result, they often contain toxic chemicals that are strong enough to kill animals or plants. In many cases, these chemicals also have known or suspected impacts on human health. For an overview of the risks of pesticides, see our Pesticides and Your Health information booklet.
West Coast Environmental Law has a long history of working on pesticides, from pressing the government to enact laws controlling pesticides, to working with members of the public concerned about pesticides to limit their use.
This work has included:
- Our Pesticides and You Booklet series aimed at tenants and farm workers who may not feel they can say no to pesticide use;
- Our Farm Workers Rights Forum, which brought together Punjabi-speaking Farm workers and their allies, the environmental and labour communities and government to examine how to protect the rights of farm workers in relation to pesticides; and
- Our Citizen’s Guide to Pesticide Use and the Law in BC – a detailed manual on how pesticides are regulated in British Columbia.
In addition, through the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund, we have supported:
- A precedent-setting Residential Tenancies Branch complaint against a landlord who sprayed pesticides without notice;
- The development of a cosmetic pesticide bylaw for Kelowna; and
- The challenges of government approvals of pesticide use.
At present, pesticides are not a priority focus for West Coast Environmental Law. However, if you have a problem involving pesticides, feel free to talk to a lawyer with our Environmental Legal Aid program.