As Oak Bay debates the merits of a cosmetic pesticide ban, the recent Victoria premiere of A Chemical Reaction could not have come at a better time. The film charts the course of pesticide bans across Canada, from tiny Hudson, Quebec to full province-wide bans in Ontario and Quebec. It is a US-focused film, so it presents an outsiders viewpoint, which is always refreshing. Often we can’t see how successful we have been until somebody from outside points it out to us and this one of those cases.
The premiere, held at UVic’s David Lam Auditorium, was put on the Canadian Cancer Society’s BC & Yukon section, whose Prevention division has been pushing for a province-wide ban and the UVic Environment Law Centre. It was fairly well attended, including by a few local politicians: MP Denise Savoie, Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming and two councillors, Oak Bay’s Tara Ney and the City of Victoria’s Lucas Phillipe. I was a little disappointed there were not more municipal politicians there, given that the issue is still being debated across the region.
As for the potential Oak Bay bylaw, that is currently still in committee, as it were. A sub-group of the Parks and Recreation Commission are looking at the Saanich bylaw right now and should report back shortly. This is after the commission started to look into it April of last year (PDF). I expect to see recommendations before council probably within two months and here’s hoping council will see the light and ban cosmetic pesticides.