Manitoba will introduce a ban on the sale and use of synthetic lawn pesticides effective in 2015.
Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh said the ban will apply to home lawns, patios, driveways, sidewalks, as well as school grounds, playing fields and playgrounds used predominately by children and on health-care institution and child-care centre grounds.
It would not apply to agricultural lands, gardens, golf courses, sod farms and in cases where high-risk noxious weeds and poisonous and invasive species must be dealt with.
The ban will come into effect for the 2015 lawn season, but homeowners will be given a one-year grace period.
Mackintosh said penalties, as well as a precise definition of what types of lawns will be covered under the new rules, are still to be determined.
Manitoba is far from the first province to institute a ban on synthetic pesticides for use on lawns. Some 80 per cent of Canadians already live in jurisdictions with such bans.
"Medical experts are clear that synthetic chemical lawn pesticides pose risks to human health, especially in the early stages of life, and to pets as well," Mackintosh said. "We must reduce these products where they are not needed."
The minister said Manitobans won’t be left without products to control weeds on their lawns. He said there are several low-risk non-synthetic alternative herbicides on the market.
Mackintosh said the province will consult the city of Winnipeg, the lawn-care industry and other groups as it prepares legislation for the next session of the legislature.
At a news conference announcing the cosmetic pesticide ban, the government received support from the Canadian Cancer Society, the deputy chief provincial public health officer, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, a local emergency room physician as well as a concerned parent and a product manager with a bio-chemical product firm.