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March 31, 2004
City of Toronto launches pesticide by-law
Councillor John Filion, Chair of the Board of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe,
Acting Medical Officer of Health, today joined community representatives to
launch Toronto's pesticide by-law. The first phase of the by-law takes effect

"At this time of year, as residents are preparing to care for their lawns and
gardens, we want them to know there are plenty of resources to help them go
pesticide-free," said Councillor Filion. "Community agencies are offering
gardening workshops and many lawn care companies are already providing
pesticide-free services."

Based on survey data, the majority of Toronto residents (62 per cent) do not
use pesticides on their property. The new by-law will help ensure that everyone
avoids the non-essential use of chemical pesticide products.

"Toronto is joining more than 66 other cities and municipalities across Canada
that have chosen to make their communities safer and healthier for all
residents by implementing pesticide by-laws," said Dr. Yaffe.

City Council passed the pesticide by-law in May 2003, significantly restricting
pesticide use on public and private property. It permits the use of products
that pose little or no health or environmental risks. The first phase of the
by-law focuses on public education, encouraging residents with a message to go
pesticide-free: "It's perfectly natural."

Toronto Public Health is distributing brochures on the by-law and natural lawn
care tips to childcare centres, schools, hospitals, libraries and retailers to
promote healthy lawn care choices.

Councillor Filion and Dr. Yaffe were joined by community partners in
pesticide-free promotional activities: Katrina Miller, campaigner with the
Toronto Environmental Alliance; Jan Kasperski, Executive Director of the
Ontario College of Family Physicians; and Cheryl Shour, Founding President of
the Organic Landscape Alliance.

For more information on the by-law, call 416-338-7600 or visit

Media contact:
Mary Margaret Crapper, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7873



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