Premier backs NDP bid to ban weed killers

NDP leader Adrian Dix

VICTORIA – NDP leader Adrian Dix proposed legislation Thursday to ban the use of “cosmetic pesticides” across the province, then challenged Premier Christy Clark to take action on a bill she says she supports.

Clark was asked about the issue Wednesday, and replied that she has supported such a ban for years. She said she wants to work with the opposition and the public to work out the best way to further restrict the use of lawn and garden weed killers, a move that has already been made by several other provinces and numerous municipalities.

Clark stopped short of saying the B.C. Liberal government would support the NDP bill, which refers to “pesticides” that mainly target insects and are not generally considered “cosmetic.” Clark also repeatedly used the term “cosmetic pesticides” as the target of the proposed legislation.

“I want to figure out a way that we can engage the NDP and engage the public, engage rural British Columbia to decide what that legislation should look like,” Clark said.

Dix said the NDP introduced similar legislation on Earth Day last April, but the government took no action. Ontario and Quebec have already banned “cosmetic pesticides” and have seen broad compliance from the public, he said.

The most common target of such bans is herbicides used to kill dandelions and other broad-leafed weeds.