09/12/2016 17:01 EDT | Updated 09/13/2017 01:12 EDT

Coalition wants more time for consultation on cosmetic pesticide ban

WINNIPEG — A coalition of health and environmental groups is calling on the province to maintain a ban on cosmetic pesticides in Manitoba enacted by the previous government.

Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba will deliver a brief to the Tory government supporting the ban which came into effect in 2015 under the NDP regime.

The PC government opened consultations into the legislation earlier this summer.

The ban has met opposition from some homeowners, lawn care businesses and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, which say that it forces them to use more expensive and less effective products to control weeds.

Monday was the final day for public consultation and the coalition is calling on the province to extend the consultation period.

Coalition spokesman Neil Bailey told CTV Winnipeg that lawn care companies have been going door to door, lobbying homeowners to oppose the ban.

He said he also suspects there have been lobbying efforts targeted at the province.

“We can’t imagine why the government would open up consultations so soon. We’ve been asking for new evidence for how much safer pesticides are, but we can’t find any,” he said.

In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency concluded that glyphosate, the main ingredient in common household weed killers like Roundup, was “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

The coalition also cites an Ontario College of Family Physicians report that “found evidence of harmful effects including adverse reproductive, neurological and respiratory outcomes.

“Children, newborns and pregnant women are especially at risk,” the coalition said in a news release.

Bailey said the chance that these chemicals could be toxic is reason enough for caution. He’d like the government to conduct a review after the ban has been in effect for several years, so that the long-term effects could be better measured.

“We think it makes sense to give the ban more time,” he said.

(CTV Winnipeg)