WHEREAS during the last sitting of Parliament, Bill C-388 was introduced, which if passed would place a moratorium on home and recreation use of pesticides including pesticide use on any parcel of land on which a dwelling is situated or within 100 metres of such a parcel of land; AND WHEREAS Bill C-388 died on the order table; AND WHEREAS the definition of a parcel of land in the proposed Bill C-388 was vague, and a generous interpretation of the definition would have placed undue restrictions on the use of chemical pesticides; AND WHEREAS yield loss equated to removing pesticide use from commercial farming practices is approximately 40%; AND WHEREAS pesticides registered today must meet strict registration and safety criteria as laid out by the Pest Management and Regulatory Agency; AND WHEREAS Alberta Environment maintains and enforces regulations on pesticide use and environmental safety; AND WHEREAS any legislation similar to Bill C-388 would have a huge detrimental impact on agricultural operations;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties alert the federal government to the importance of pesticide use and the detrimental effects that would be incurred by agricultural operators should undue restrictions be placed on the use of chemical pesticides; AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties take an active role should such legislation be proposed, to ensure that the definition of a parcel of land is clearly defined, and is not detrimental to agricultural operators.
Bill C-388, which died on the order table at the end of the last sitting of Parliament, aims to prohibit the “non-essential” use of chemical pesticides. This included areas such as parks, ball diamonds, work areas and areas around dwellings. Due to the vague nature of the Bill, agricultural production could also have been affected. The importance of the use of chemical pesticides by the agricultural community cannot be underestimated and nor should it be threatened. The Bill C-388 scare should not be taken lightly. We must take a positive role and inform the Federal Government of the importance of the use of these chemical pesticides and the adverse effects that would result if undue restrictions are placed on this method of pest control.
Resolution 10-00F, which called on the Government of Canada to not pass Bill C-388, was withdrawn at the Fall 2000 Convention. AAMDC investigations into Bill C-388 in spring 2000 indicated that the private member’s bill had little chance of passage by Parliament, and in fact was unlikely even to be debated. However, concerns regarding possible federal initiatives to restrict pesticide usage are very real, and in late 2000 the AAMDC board adopted an Agricultural Strategy which includes protection of the agricultural industry’s access to necessary chemicals and pesticides as a priority item.