News / Winnipeg

Survey says Manitobans favour pesticide ban

Manitoba is one of seven provinces in Canada that have enacted restrictions on non-essential uses of pesticides, and a poll says its citizens like it that way.

Metro File

The results of a recent poll show more than half of Manitobans want to keep the province’s divisive pesticide ban.

Controversy has swirled around the legislation since the former NDP government put it into force in 2015 with The Environment Act after three years of consultation. As soon as the Progressive Conservative government came to power in April, the sustainable development minister said the province would consider changes to the ban.

Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba (CPBM) spokesperson Neil Bailey vocally opposed a review at the time, and said the Probe Research Poll results released Tuesday should “cause the government to take pause.”

Through a survey of 1,000 Manitobans in September, Probe Research learned a “clear majority” of Manitobans want to maintain the current ban on cosmetic pesticide use.

The survey showed 53 per cent of Manitobans want to keep the ban, compared to 42 per cent who do not.

Support for the ban is even stronger among Winnipeggers, as 55 per cent said they favoured the ban compared to 38 per cent in opposition.

In both cases a percentage of respondents had no preference either way.

Bailey said it proves, despite “popular sentiments shared that people are opposed” to the ban, “the majority of Manitobans think the potential negative impact of lifting the ban outweighs the benefits municipalities or individuals would reap from being able to use whatever products they want.”

“If (the government) says they’re acting in the best interests of constituents by reviewing the ban, statistics now say you’re actually going against that,” Bailey said.

Other groups supporting a ban on non-essential pesticide use include the Canadian Cancer Society, Manitoba Lung Association, Manitoba Eco-Network, Green Action Centre, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Nature Manitoba and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.

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