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Markham sets the standard
Markham Has Best Education and Enforcement Rules in Ontario on Pesticide Bylaw
March 27, 2008
Markham, ON ~ As part of its bylaw regulating the non-essential use of pesticides, Markham now requires pesticide applicators, organic and non-pesticide lawn care applicators to be licensed and has set a bylaw fine.
The bylaw regulating the non-essential use of pesticides in the Town came into effect January 1, 2008. After reviewing the legislation, Council has set a licence fee at $100.
A set fine of $250 is proposed (to be approved by the Province) for violators of the bylaw. People who observe violations of the bylaw may report the matter to the Town for investigation by staff. To provide education and enforcement, the Town will have bylaw enforcement officers in the field during the summer to follow-up on complaints and help residents understand how they can comply with the legislation.
"With the ongoing support of our residents, we have passed one of the strongest pesticide bylaws in the province. We would like to share our experience and are encouraging the Province as they develop legislation to eliminate the use of pesticides," said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.
"Markham Council continues to take real, positive steps to protect the environment and citizens' health. I call on the Province of Ontario to reduce the use of pesticides throughout all communities. Indeed, they should ban the sale of commercial products containing pesticides for residential use," said Councillor Erin Shapero, Chair of Markham's Environment and Sustainability Committee. Councillor Shapero previously chaired the Town's pesticide-free committee.
Markham has been a leader in eliminating the non-essential use of pesticides, with the Town not spraying pesticides on either its parks or its sportsfields for more than 15 years.
Throughout 2008, Markham will offer residents, companies and lawn care providers information on natural lawn care practices and the pesticide-free products which can be used to maintain strong, healthy lawns and gardens. Community workshops on natural lawn and garden care will take place in April at five Markham Public Libraries. Lawn care businesses learned about the bylaw at a workshop on March 20.
Markham is also developing a hazardous waste program for the collection and proper disposal of pesticides. Information on the pesticide bylaw and program is available at www.markham.ca.
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