Pesticides are now so widespread in society that we tend to forget these products serve primarily to destroy and control animals and insects organisms considered harmful or undesirable.
Truth be told, pesticides can also contaminate the environment—water, air and soil—and thus harm non-target species, including humans. That’s why many countries have legislation that controls the sale and use of these products.
In Canada, jurisdiction over pesticides is shared among the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments.
The federal government controls the registration, marketing and labelling of pesticides, while provinces and territories regulate their sale, use, storage, transportation and disposal. Provinces can also restrict or prohibit the use of federally registered products within their jurisdiction.
Municipalities in many provinces have the authority to set further conditions on pesticide use, especially in urban areas and based on local circumstances. Initiatives focusing mainly on public awareness and alternatives to pesticides complement regulations.
To meet its environmental-protection commitments, the Municipality of Val-des-Monts has a by-law prohibiting the application of pesticides and fertilizers within its boundaries, except under the following circumstances:
- Applications designed to control or destroy insect infestations on a property, provided a) the infestations are confirmed by a qualified specialist or professional, b) the pesticide is applied only on the portion of the lot where the infestation has been confirmed, and c) the application takes place under the supervision of the specialist or professional.
- Applications of compost fertilizer made on the same property for personal use.