NDP delay PC bill to protect children and environment from pesticides

On Earth Day, the Manitoba NDP announced they will delay Bill 22, which would lift a ban on harmful chemical pesticides, putting the health of families and the future of sustainable businesses at risk.  

“Delaying this bill is a no-brainer,” said NDP Critic for the Environment and Climate Change, Lisa Naylor. “We are using our power as the Official Opposition to protect children and communities from pesticides.” 

Bill 22 The Environment Amendment Act (Pesticide Restrictions), would reverse a ban on the use of dangerous chemical pesticides on residential lawns that was first implemented by the NDP in 2014. The NDP bill banned dozens of chemicals from use on residential lawns and the grounds of schools, hospitals and child care centres. It also mandated pesticide sellers comply with regulations. The PC’s bill would deregulate the sale of pesticides.  

Emergency room doctor Paul Doucet commended the NDP for delaying the bill. 

“The science is clear: pesticides are harmful to children’s health and increases their risk of serious diseases like cancer,” said Dr Doucet. “I was proud to stand to stand with the NDP in 2014 when they chose to protect kids and the health of communities. I’m disappointed that this PC government would take such a dangerous step backwards.” 

Local natural cider-maker Jesse Oberman said he opposes the bill because it puts his company at risk.

“My company relies on foraged fruit from communities,” he said. “My business is built on the assumption that this fruit is clean and safe, I’m glad to see this bill being delayed– it’s the right thing to do to keep people healthy and support local businesses like mine.”

NDP Leader Wab Kinew argued that the PC bill goes against the will of Manitobans. "I know Manitobans want to make our province cleaner and healthier - this bill sets us back. It’s bad for kids and families and bad for small business,” he said. “Our team is committed to building a brighter future for everyone in Manitoba. That means we have to limit the use of harmful chemicals and help families, businesses and consumers make cleaner choices.”