Ontario acts to protect bees while feds twiddle their thumbs

Toronto – The global campaign to ban neonicotinoid pesticides took a big step forward in Ontario today. The provincial government — using its own pesticide control legislation — will reduce the use of neonicotinoid pesticides by 80%.

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation looks forward to participating in the public consultation in Ontario. “This is an essential first step and it was courageous,” said John Bennett, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada Foundation.

The Ontario government has been under tremendous pressure from multinational chemical companies like Bayer and Syngenta led by recently retired Conservative MP Ted Menzies. The companies stand to lose millions in sales of pesticides in Ontario.

It is the practice of seed suppliers to treat ALL corn and soybean with neonicotinoid pesticides. Over 1 million bags of treated corn seed is sold in Ontario annually.

“This move will not only help save millions of bees, it’ll help grain farmers save millions of dollars by not paying for seed treated with a pesticide they don’t need,” said Mr. Bennett.

Sierra Club Canada Foundation has worked closely with beekeepers, environmental organizations, farmers, scientists and individuals to convince governments in Canada to take responsible action. “The Ontario government is the first jurisdiction in North America to take serious action,” said Mr. Bennett.

“The Ontario government has vindicated our campaign, recognized the science and acted. This is one of the biggest environmental victories in years,” said Mr. Bennett. “However we still have a long way to go to get rid of neonicotinoid pesticides.”

Meanwhile in Ottawa, Health Canada continues to do nothing to stop the chemical massacre of bumble bees and other pollinators — even though it is responsible for licensing all pesticides in Canada.

Related video: Bee Disaster (CBC)