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November 8, 2002
Medical Officer of Health proposes Pesticide Reduction Partnership
Dr. Sheela Basrur, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, is proposing the
creation of a multi-stakeholder Pesticide Reduction Partnership and the
drafting of a municipal by-law to enforce pesticide reduction targets.

In a report to the Board of Health, Dr. Basrur summarized the findings of a
year-long community consultation process and made recommendations outlining a
strategy for next steps in meeting the City's longstanding commitment to reduce
pesticide use.

The recommendations call for the immediate convening of key stakeholders for
the purpose of forming a partnership, and the preparation of a detailed
implementation plan by April 2003 that includes a by-law to restrict the
outdoor use of pesticides.

The Pesticide Reduction Partnership would be created to achieve an ambitious
program of pesticide reduction targets over a three-year period. These targets
include: 100 per cent reduction at schools, daycares, long term care facilities
and hospitals; 90 per cent reduction on residential property; and 60 per cent
reduction at commercial and industrial properties.

Dr. Basrur said her proposal is a blend of the best ideas from the consultation
process. "It is time to move forward with a concrete strategy focussed on
getting results," said Dr. Basrur. "We are setting a realistic goal to
dramatically reduce pesticide use in Toronto over three years. For this to
succeed, all the stakeholders, along with the residents of the city, must
contribute and work together. We will build the legal framework as we go and if
the reduction targets are not met, then the by-law will enforce compliance."

The report, Finding Common Ground, emphasizes the shared commitment by
stakeholders and residents to reduce pesticide use. The results of a random
telephone survey of 1,000 residents showed that 72 per cent of respondents were
in favour of a by-law to restrict most outdoor uses of pesticides on private
property; 87 per cent supported a by-law restricting pesticides around schools,
daycare centres, long term care facilities and hospitals; and 94 per cent want
more access to alternative products and services.

The report will be presented to the Board of Health at its monthly meeting on
Monday, November 18, 2002, at which time deputations will be heard from
residents and stakeholders. Copies of the report and its appendices detailing
the consultation results are available online at

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