71% of Manitobans want lawn pesticides gone
Rural and urban voters support ban; say pesticides threaten lakes
For Immediate Release – February 26, 2013

(Winnipeg, MB) Polling results released today indicate a large majority of Manitobans – 71% – support a law that would phase-out the use and sale of lawn and garden pesticides across the province. The survey shows broad support with rural, urban, and suburban residents agreeing at 86%, 72%, and 68% respectively, that cosmetic pesticides should be barred from use and sale. This is the first scientific poll on pesticides since the issue came up for debate last year.

“It’s clear Manitobans want and deserve the same protection from these unnecessary toxins as the millions of Canadians across Canada where provincial bans are already in place,” said Farrah Khan, a campaigner with the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. Lawn and garden pesticides are already banned in six provinces from Ontario to Newfoundland. “Strong provincial legislation will take these poisons off store shelves and protect our most vulnerable population – our kids – from getting sick.”

This confirmation of public support is welcome news for the coalition known as Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba, who together with more than 25 local and national health and environment groups have called for a provincial ban on lawn and garden pesticides.

According to Winnipeg-based emergency physician, Dr. Paul Doucet, “peer-reviewed science consistently shows links between pesticide exposure and childhood cancer, birth defects, neurological problems, respiratory illness, and more. When non-toxic options are readily available, we should not put our health at risk simply for the appearance of a lawn.”

The new poll also reveals 77% of Manitobans see pesticides as a threat to the environment, including wildlife, air quality, and lakes; and 71% see lawn pesticides as a health threat to pets.

Earlier this month, Lake Winnipeg was named the world’s most threatened lake for 2013. Reducing toxic run-off is essential to protecting this and other water bodies across the province. Josh Brandon, communications coordinator at the Green Action Centre explains, “It’s no secret lawn pesticides are polluting our ecosystems. We hope the government will take action now to protect our lakes – while we still can.”

The polling was conducted by Oraclepoll Research. It involved a telephone survey of 498 Manitoba residents. The margin of error is +/- 4.4% 19/20 times.