Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Golf is – sort of - Exempt

"Ontario's proposed ban on the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides will be the toughest such legislation in North America once it becomes law next year, supporters said Tuesday."

The full article from CBC.ca is found here:
http://www.cbc.ca/cp/national/080422/n042295A.html

Ontario's ban will likely take effect next spring, but there will be a few exceptions, McGuinty said. Pesticides will still be allowed for use in farming, forestry or health and safety, such as controlling mosquitoes that can carry diseases like the West Nile virus.

(I edited this with the actual statement made in the legislature)


An exception will also be made for golf courses; however, that exception would only be given if golf courses comply with the requirements set out in regulations that would be made if the legislation is enacted, through integrated pest management programs.

The golf courses will be legislated to participate in the Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) run by the University of Guelph. If that is the case – this is a great solution. The problem is this is government – which is still susceptable to further lobbying before becoming legislation - and the ambiguous nature of this statement leaves you with doubt.

The other issue is Golf Courses may be exempt – but there is no guarantees that the pesticides they use today will be available come next year - they are two sepperate issues. This is a long way from being over – but at least golf is recognized as an industry that can not be immediately legislated to go pesticide free.

I think reducing the use of pesticides is very important to all of us. But I fear the lobbist don't fully understand the implications of eliminating pesticides. For example, my family ran an apple orchard for a few years. If you don't spray on a regular basis, you get apple scab. In my opinion apple scab does nothing to the quality of the fruit or the taste - but people won't buy an apple with scab because it doesn't look right.

I think we need to make sure we understand what we are doing rather than making a purely emotional decision.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you may misunderstand the term lobbyist and their role in lobbying the government. Generally the government is not reacting to any specific lobby when they look at instituting a ban on pesticides. They are constructing policy on what they perceive as a trend in public opionion. There is no lobby working on behalf of a pesticide ban. It's politcal maneuvering based on obtaining votes. Where the lobby and lobbyists come in to it, are on behalf of the pesticide manufacturers who hire professional firms to represent their interests to municipal, regional, provincial or federal governments. Lobbyists are paid handsomely for what they do and are generally hired by large industries and corporations to further their interests - in this case the chemical and pesticide industry.

A group of concerned citizens who may or may not want a ban on pesticides are not lobbyists, they are a group of people who may or may not want something out of their government.

RT said...

Anon -- who are you kidding? The environmental movement is full of lobbyists -- just like this ridiculous Physicians for the Environment in Ontario, who are largely, well, not doctors. At least not of the medical variety.

This is politics at its worst -- which is exactly how Dolton McGuinty functions. Hand out a holiday to get votes (not that far from the days when Chicago politicians doled out the whiskey for votes), now play up the optics of a "pesticide ban" without working out the details first. He panders rather than leads.

How did John Tory lose to this idiot? Oh, right, he played up an equally ridiculous position.

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