Every year, West Coast Environmental Law receives many queries related to pesticides. Members of the public are concerned about the risks of commercial and home pesticide use in our communities, and they want to know what avenues are available to them to counter the threats posed by these toxins.
Public concern is well-founded. Even the advocates of pesticides concede that many of these products contain powerful chemicals which, if used improperly, can have serious health and environmental impacts.
In the early 2000s, there were substantial revisions to pesticide legislation, both federally and in BC. In BC, the changes largely removed government oversight of pesticide use on public lands. At the same time, changes to the federal legislation (while not without their flaws) generally strengthened federal government regulation of these chemicals.
The Citizen’s Guide to Pesticide Use and the Law in BC (2007) provides helpful information about the law and how members of the public can play a role in matters regarding pesticide use in their communities.