For over a year, the City of Langley’s Parks and Environment Committee (which I sit on) has been working on getting a ban on the application of pesticides for cosmetic proposes in the City. Our recommendation was based on the work of the Canadian Cancer Society that shows a potential link between cancer and pesticide use. Back the May, the proposed bylaw came before council and I was pleased that it will most likely be adopted. What I’m also happy to report today is that while the original bylaw only applied to private land, council broadened the bylaw to apply to city-owned land as well. This is very encouraging as now the City can lead by example.
The reason it took so long for this bylaw to move from a motion at the Parks and Environment Committee to a proposed bylaw was because originally the Province was going to enact legislation on cosmetic pesticide use. The Province recently announced that it would not be enacting a cosmetic pesticide ban, so this bylaw couldn’t have come at a better time.
The City’s bylaws will still allow the application of pesticide to control pests that transmit human diseases, impact agriculture, impact forestry and uses in or around buildings, roads, public utilities, pipelines, noxious weed, invasive species, and hard landscapes (sidewalks, etc.)
The purpose of the bylaw is to provide awareness around the issue of over application of pesticides and will hopefully be bundled with a strong education campaign. I’ve been told that the City has no plans to set up the lawn police to check everyone’s back yard.