Ontario Neonic Rules Going to Cabinet Wednesday

Two independent sources familiar with the workings of Ontario’s legislature have confirmed that the impending regulations regarding access to neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed will go to cabinet on Wednesday, June 3rd.

This final version of the regulations designed by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) will take effect July 1.

First announced in November, 2014, the regulations make corn and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoids a new class of pesticide for the province. These new rules govern this newly created class.

Neonics, a family of insecticides, are still available in the province for other crops, including use in the vegetable and horticulture markets, and for in-home use, like on pet collars for flea control.

MOECC contends that neonic use on soybean and corn crops is the key driver of honeybee deaths in the province, even as recent report from the federal senate ag committee names nine areas requiring management to ensure bee health (read the report here).

At least one major farm organization in the province, the Grain Farmers of Ontario, has fought the regulations from their very genesis, calling them “unworkable.” GFO released its own pollinator health plan, one that included habitat restoration, among other key areas of management. Last week, GFO organized a protest at two MPP offices to vent their frustration over the regulation process, saying the process has been rushed and hasn’t taken the full scope of farming into consideration.

An email asking for confirmation of the regulations’ introduction to cabinet on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

 …More to come.


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