July 15, 2012
The City of Hamilton approved a report from its public works committee on June 14, “That the Premier of Ontario and leaders of the opposition Parties be requested to support amendment to the Pesticides Act.”

The city has requested that the province allow the use of pesticides by licensed operators, provided the application of pesticide is part of an accredited Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

The city resolved that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to local MPPs, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Ontario Parks Association, Landscape Ontario, the Sports Turf Grass Association, and the Ontario Association of Cemetery and Funeral Professionals.

The amendment is being pushed by Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, who is quoted, “Our community was embarrassing this year. The sports fields are grossly infested with weeds.”

Craig Murdoch, Hamilton’s director of environmental services, has stated that the number of weeds in city parks has increased five per cent each year since the cosmetic pesticide ban. It is estimated that some Hamilton parks have weed-to-turf ratios up to 40 per cent.

Councilor Ferguson also claims that the province has unwittingly created a black market for pesticides, with residents buying banned pesticides from Buffalo stores, and even local farmers.