Amendments to the Pesticide Act

ERO number
019-0481
Notice type
Act
Act
Pesticides Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
October 28, 2019 - November 27, 2019 (30 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
October 28, 2019
to November 27, 2019

Decision summary

We have finalized amendments to the Pesticides Act to reduce complexity and modernize pesticide management in Ontario while ensuring human health and the environment continue to be protected.

Decision details

Proposed amendments to the Pesticides Act in Bill 132 have been finalized (received Royal Assent) and will come into effect on proclamation. We have updated Ontario’s Pesticides Act to remove duplication and reduce complexity by ending Ontario’s duplicative provincial classification of pesticides and aligning with the federal government’s pesticide categories, as other provinces do. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, registers pesticides after completing a rigorous review of scientific studies on potential impacts on human health and the environment. We will continue to maintain Ontario’s general regulatory requirements, including licensing and permitting, realigned to the federal categories.

The Pesticides Act is amended to remove the Ontario Pesticides Advisory Committee (OPAC). OPAC’s main role in providing advice to support classification will no longer be needed without the duplicative provincial application and classification process.

The general cosmetic pesticides ban will be retained, including existing exceptions (e.g. golf courses, agricultural operations, forestry, health and safety and other prescribed exceptions), but a single list of allowed pesticides will replace the current classes. Provisions continue to prohibit the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes and restrict the sale of cosmetic use products unless the director has determined that the pesticide (the active ingredient) is appropriate for use for a cosmetic purpose and has listed the active ingredient in a prescribed document. The criteria used to identify active ingredients to be added to the list will be the same as those currently used (e.g. naturally occurring, low toxicity) and will be prescribed in regulation.

Comments received

Through the registry

88

By email

5

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

During the 30-day consultation period, a total of 93 comments were received on this posting. This amount does not include comments that were considered from additional sources, including speaking notes presented to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and comments submitted to other relevant Environmental Registry postings: Amendments to the Pesticide Regulation (63/09) and Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. Conversely, comments submitted to this posting that are relevant to the Pesticide Regulation will be considered with the Pesticide Regulation posting. This comprehensive review of all relevant sources allowed us to capture diverse considerations to inform decision-making.

Most of the feedback from the consultation was supportive of aligning Ontario’s provincial pesticide classification system with the federal system to eliminate duplication and streamline how pesticide products are managed and used in Ontario while maintaining appropriate oversight. Some comments expressed concern about the reduction in provincial oversight, possibly resulting in negative impacts to the environment and human health, and the lack of responsiveness of the federal classification system to provincial needs and conditions. A decision was made to proceed with the proposed amendments based on Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency being resourced and equipped to review and register pesticides for all of Canada, a role all other provinces have recognized, and the province continuing general regulatory requirements, including licensing and permitting requirements realigned to the federal categories.

Comments supportive of dissolving the Ontario Pesticides Advisory Committee (OPAC) cited reduced burden and duplicative efforts. Concerns focused on the loss of non-partisan, multidisciplinary expertise. The main role of this committee to provide advice to support classification will no longer be needed without a duplicative provincial application and classification process. Other roles may be undertaken by ministry experts. A decision was made to finalize amendments dissolving OPAC.

Despite some comments opposed to maintaining the cosmetic pesticide ban given all products will undergo review and approval during the federal classification process, a decision was made to maintain the ban. The Act amendments, together with the complementary regulatory changes, are only intended to remove the need for classes associated with the ban and not alter the ban itself. Additional comments on the “Allowable List” and exceptions will be considered through the Pesticides Regulation posting.

Supporting materials

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Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks - Environmental Policy Branch
Address

40 St Clair Avenue West
Floor 10
Toronto, ON
M4V1M2
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-0481
Notice type
Act
Act
Pesticides Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

October 28, 2019 - November 27, 2019 (30 days)

Proposal details

This proposal notice is part of the proposal for the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act.

These proposals would support the objectives of removing duplication and updating Ontario’s Pesticide Act, first passed in 1990.

To achieve this objective, we are proposing to end Ontario’s duplicative classification of pesticides and align with the federal government’s pesticide categories, as other provinces do. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, registers pesticides after completing a rigorous review of scientific studies on potential impacts on human health and the environment. Health Canada’s PMRA is resourced and equipped to review and register pesticides for all of Canada, something all other provinces have recognized. Ontario would continue to maintain Ontario’s general regulatory requirements, including licensing and permitting realigned to the federal categories.

Consistent with these objectives, the Pesticides Act would be amended to remove the Ontario Pesticide Advisory Committee (OPAC). OPAC’s main role in providing advice to support classification would no longer be needed without a duplicative provincial application and classification process.

The general cosmetic pesticides ban will be retained, including existing exceptions, but a single list of permitted pesticides would replace the current classes. This is required as the federal government’s registration process currently does not restrict the use of pesticides for cosmetic use. This will require amendments to provide an alternate approach for regulating the cosmetic pesticides ban without the need for classification.

Overview

Ontario’s Pesticides Act and Ontario Regulation 63/09 (General) regulate pesticide use and sale. This includes restrictions and requirements, such as licensing and permitting, associated with classes of pesticides. OPAC currently advises on the classification of pesticides, after Health Canada’s PMRA completes its rigorous review of scientific studies on potential impacts on human health and the environment. The Act and Regulation also include a ban on the use of prescribed cosmetic pesticides, with exceptions.

Ontario Pesticides Advisory Committee (OPAC)

The Pesticides Act is proposed to be amended to repeal provisions that provide for the Ontario Pesticides Advisory Committee, including its functions and other associated provisions. This is consistent with eliminating the current upfront classification process before pesticides can be sold or used in Ontario. The major function of this Committee is to provide advice on classification. This function would no longer be needed when aligning with the federal categories of pesticides.

The Act is also proposed to be amended by replacing the current cosmetic pesticides ban provisions in support of eliminating the need for a classification process. Alternative provisions would continue to prohibit the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes and restrict the sale of cosmetic use products unless the director has determined that the pesticide (the active ingredient) is appropriate for use for a cosmetic purpose and listed the active ingredients in a prescribed document.

Pesticides appropriate for a cosmetic use would be listed in a prescribed document. The director would use criteria to identify active ingredients to be added to the list. These criteria would be the same as those currently used (e.g. naturally occurring, low toxicity), and are proposed to be prescribed in regulation.

The Act amendments, together with the proposed regulatory amendments would maintain the cosmetic pesticides ban. Exceptions to the cosmetic ban would remain in place (e.g. use on golf courses, agricultural operations, forestry, health and safety and other prescribed exceptions). The proposed legislative amendments are only intended to remove the need for classes associated with the ban, and not alter the ban itself.

Other minor consequential amendments are also proposed.

Estimated impacts

There are no financial impacts to Ontarians associated with this proposal.

The proposed legislation and associated regulatory changes are expected to have positive impacts on commercial users and vendors of pesticides who would be able to bring pesticides to market and access pesticides immediately upon federal registration. Eliminating Ontario’s classification process would also remove administrative cost and time delays associated with the application and classification process, improving the efficiency in accessing pesticides for sale and use in Ontario.

Positive impacts are also estimated for small businesses and farmers by making pesticides immediately available for sale and use upon federal registration, eliminating the time-lag in pesticides available in Ontario compared to those available in other provinces.

The proposed legislation and regulatory changes are not anticipated to have significant environmental impacts.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks - Environmental Policy Branch
Address

40 St Clair Avenue West
Floor 10
Toronto, ON
M4V1M2
Canada

Office phone number

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from October 28, 2019
to November 27, 2019

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