A pesticide ban could be in place in Lantzville in time for the spring planting season.
Nanaimo city council passed a bylaw in April, 2010 that bans the residential use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.
A growing number of B.C. municipalities have such bans in place. The Canadian Cancer Society has been lobbying. municipal councils hard to control the use of such ingredients as the herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate, and insecticides carbaryl and malathion.
In Nanaimo, chemicals are only permitted to control pests that transmit disease, or if used on farms, in forestry or agriculture, or to control invasive plants.
Lantzville tabled the issue last year, while awaiting provincial government direction.
In June, Coun. Andrew Mostad proposed a regulation modeled after the Nanaimo bylaw.
He isn't sure how broadly council supports a ban, and acknowledges it has its opponents.
He knows of two councillors on each side of the fence on the pesticide ban matter.
"I think this is very important, and you can see from a number of councils across B.C. there is a lot of support," Mostad said.
"In terms of support on council, it's always hard to gauge how people will vote."
It's not the first environmental matter to divide the community. A debate over urban farming pitted neighbour against neighbour, which ultimately wound up as a municipal election issue.
"The idea wouldn't be to completely get rid of pesticides but to take a look at narrowing pesticide use to a very narrow set of circumstances,"
Mostad said. The B.C. environment ministry announced plans in February to move toward a provincial pesticide licensing system. In the meantime, Mostad considers the Nanaimo bylaw a good model for Lantzville.
"In some circumstances you can use (pesticide), only if you have a huge infestation of pests, or only in certain parts of your property or certain types," Mostad said. He also likes that Nanaimo actively encourages use of natural pesticides, such as vinegar,
soap and mineral oil.
Nanaimo violations can fetch fines of up to $10,000, "We're moving forward to probably write a bylaw this fall," Mostad said.
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