For Immediate Release
Jan 13, 2010

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Ontario Court of Appeal dismisses industry challenge of Toronto Pesticide By-law


The Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in the challenge against Toronto’s Pesticide By-law.

The Court ruled that the City of Toronto has the authority to pass the by-law controlling pesticides. No other federal or provincial law dealt with this subject.

The Toronto Pesticide By-law was closely patterned after a similar by-law by the town of Hudson, Quebec fourteen years ago. That by-law was upheld as valid by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2001.

CropLife, a pesticides industry association, challenged the by-law passed by Toronto, and a lower Ontario Court ruled it valid.

Today’s ruling means that Ontario municipalities concerned with the reduction of pesticide use in their territories, can continue with consideration and passage of by-laws to control such use.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Ontario court has followed the lead of the Supreme Court of Canada in finding that municipalities in Ontario have the power to protect their citizens from the risks of pesticides,” said Justin Duncan, Staff Lawyer with the Sierra Legal Defence Fund.

“This is a victory for the environment and public health, and the ability for municipalities to act in a precautionary way,” added Paul Muldoon, CELA Counsel and Executive Director.

Sierra Legal Defence Fund represented Federation of Canadian Municipalities and World Wildlife Fund as interveners before the Ontario Court of Appeal to support the city’s Pesticide By-law. Similarly, Canadian Environmental Law Association represented the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Sierra Club of Canada, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Ontario College of Family Physicians, Environmental Defence Canada as interveners in the case.