The Christie Action List
How to Deal with Pesticide Abuse
Protecting your health from pesticide abuse is a political issue, as science is
not yet adequate to answer all the questions involved.
You can make a difference by taking action and advising the appropriate government department
of any incidents of pesticide abuse where your health is being put at risk.
Depending on the situation there are a number of 'channels' at your disposal. In general you
can always go to your local MP, MPP or councillor as appropriate. Keep them informed and ask
for their help when needed. You can always address your concerns directly to the source, either
on the spot and/or later in writing. You can channel your concerns through through media friendly
contacts where appropriate. Letters to the Editor or consumer advocate lines can be very effective.
If you see something and intend to file a more formal report you need to be able to document the
facts to support your claim. Having a video camera at your disposal to record the incident in
question is a good way to build your case file. Record the information from the front and back
of the pesticide notification sign. Go to Environment Canada's Climate Source website and print
off the '24 Hour Retrospective' to obtain the official temperature and wind speed
readings from the nearest Environment Canada weather station.
Below are some of the channels that you can use. You'll need to adapt the list to suit your community.
- Federal Channels
- Government of Canada - Industry Canada -
Competition Bureau. 800-348-5358; 50 Victoria Street, Hull QC K1A OC9.
This agency deals with misleading advertising and deceptive marketing practices.
Note that complaints to them must be signed by six (6) citizens of Canada in order
to be officially considered.
- Government of Canada - Health Canada -
Pest Management Regulatory Agency - Compliance and Regional Operations Subdivision.
613-736-3500; 2250 Riverside Drive, Ottawa ON K1A 0K9; Ontario operations
519-837-9400; 174 Stone Road West, Guelph ON N1G 4S9.
This agency deals with violations and enforcement of the Pest Products Control Act.
- Government of Canada - Canadian Human Rights Commission.
344 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 1E1.
Canadians have a "right to life, liberty and security of person", as stated in Section 7 of
the Charter of Rights. The charter applies solely to non-grandfathered federal jurisdiction. It
to the labelling of pesticides for lawn and garden care but this has not been tested.
- Government of Canada - Attorney General - Auditor General. Any resident of Canada can send a
letter to the Auditor General relating to
environment and sustainable development issues.
They are forwarded to the appropriate minister on behalf of the Auditor General. Ministers are required
to respond to these petitions within a set time period. The Commissioner monitors the status of these
petitions and reports his findings to the House of Commons in his annual "green" report. Petitions
must be sent in writing to: Auditor General of Canada, 240 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G6.
- Government of Canada - Canadian Food Inspection Agency -
59 Camelot Drive, Ottawa ON, K1A 0Y9; 613-225-2342; Ontario operations 174
Stone Rd W Guelph, ON N1G 4S9; (519) 837-9400. This agency deals
with registration of fertilizers, fertilizers/pesticides, and
supplements; product safety and efficacy; monitoring for active
ingredients and contaminants; inspection and enforcement; and labelling.
- Ontario Channels
- Government of Ontario - Ministry of Environment
- Technical Support Section
800-267-0974; 133 Dalton Ave (PO Box 820), Kingston ON K7L 4X6.
The Ministry oversees The Pesticides Act; Ontario Regulation 914
deals with the use, storage, sale, transportation, disposal etc. of pesticides within Ontario.
They also oversee certification, training and licensing.
- Government of Ontario - Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. 800-268-1142; 250 Yonge St 33rd Floor, Toronto ON M5B 2N5.
This Ministry sets standards of conduct for businesses, promotes
consumer rights and investigates questionable business practices.
- Government of Ontario -
Environmental Commissioner of Ontario.
800-701-6454; 605-1075 Bay Street, Toronto ON M5S 2B1
- Government of Ontario - Ontario Human Rights Commission.
416-314-4536; 180 Dundas St W 8th Floor, Toronto, ON M7A 2R9.
The current Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated that
individuals disabled by environmental sensitivities must be accommodated under the Ontario Human Rights
Code, regardless of any medical or social debate that may surround these issues.
The former Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission has made similar public statements.
However, the powers of the Commission are currently held to be inferior to most provincial acts,
specifically to the Pesticides Act.
- Government of Ontario - Attorney General.
416-326-4000; 720 Bay St 11th Floor, Toronto, ON M5G 2K1
The Ministry of the Attorney General is responsible for providing a fair and accessible justice
system which reflects the needs of the diverse communities it serves across government and the province.
- Ottawa Channels
- Government of Ontario - Ministry of Environment - Ottawa District Office.
800-268-6060; 2435 Holly Lane, Ottawa ON K1V 7P2
- The Ottawa Citizen - Action Line
613-596-3737; email@example.com; Box 5020, Ottawa, ON K2C 3M4
- Better Business Bureau - Ottawa Hull.
877-859-8566; 700 Industrial Avenue, Ottawa ON K1P 5G4.
- Project Phonebusters. 888-495-8501.
Project Phonebusters takes complaints on telemarketing fraud and mail scams. Phonebusters is
a joint project of a number of law enforcement bodies including the Ontario Provincial Police.
- Join the Health Dangers of Urban Use of Pesticides group that advises
the Health Department of the City of Ottawa.
- Other Resources
- The Complete Complainer: How to Complain and Get Results. Jasper Griegson (2000) ISBN 1900512866
- Effective Consumer Complaining: Win - Don't Whine. Ola Kaufman (1999) ISBN 0738803790
- Complain, Complain, Complain:The Canadian Consumer's Guide to Getting Action. Karen Molson (1997)
- Art of Complaining. Phil Edmonston ISBN 0773710639
- A Citizen's Guide to Government. C.Richard Tindal (2000) ISBN 0070864160
Laws passed by governments are called "Acts" or "Statutes", or legislation. A Statute sets up a
framework to control activities. Regulations provide the detailed rules for the framework.
Regulations are developed by the bureaucracy and passed by order in Council (the Cabinet).
Laws passed by municipalities are called 'by-laws'
- Federal Legislation
- The federal Minister of the Environment is responsible for the
administration of the following federal government acts related to environmental health:
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The goal of CEPA is to protect the environment and the health
of Canadians from toxic substances and other pollutants
- Fisheries Act (Section 36-3). This Act protects water and fish from the dumping of harmful substances into water.
- Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This Act contains provisions for vehicle emissions.
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. This Act regulates the movement of listed dangerous goods within Canada.
- The federal Minister of Health is responsible for the administration of a number of
federal government Acts
related to environmental health and pesticides.
- Pest Control Products Act. This Act requires that all pest control products imported into, sold
or used in Canada, or used or contained in another control product in Canada be registered.
- Pest Control Product Regulations. The details of enforcement of the PCPA.
- Pesticide Residue Compensation Act
- Pest Management Regulatory Agency
include discussion papers, decision documents, regulatory proposals and directives.
- The federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for and has the overall
direction of the Agency and is responsible for the administration of
a number of federal government Acts related to fertilizers and
protecting environmental health.
- The Fertilizers Act requires that agricultural fertilizers, specialty fertilizers,
fertilizer-pesticides and supplements be controlled and regulated.
Products that do not require registration under the Fertilizers Act
must still conform to the regulations or they will be in violation of
Section 3 of the Fertilizers Act.
- The Fertilizers Regulations provide the details of enforcement of the Fertilizers Act.
- The Guidelines
to the Fertilizers Act and Regulations