A sea of yellow is blanketing boulevards and lawns across Manitoba as the provincial government decides what to do about a pesticide ban it promised to review years ago.
In 2014, the NDP government banned cosmetic pesticides used to fight weeds like dandelions. At the time, the province said the ban was in the best interests of the health of Manitobans and of the environment.
But on the campaign trail in 2016, the Progressive Conservatives launched a review of that legislation. It wrapped that same year, but in 2018, the results still aren’t in.
While Manitobans wait, they walk past thousands of dandelions on city property and in almost every yard in the city.
Many residents have expressed their frustration over having to use pesticides they believe is too expensive and not effective enough.
Winnipegger Jeannette Delorme spends hours digging up the weeds on her St. Vital property every spring and fall, filling entire buckets with dandelions.
“They’re never ending,” Delorme said. “They’ll come and there’s no way you can eradicate it. Absolutely no way.”
Delorme installed a rock garden over her front lawn to help keep the weeds off of her property, but on Monday she was still out with tools making sure all of the dandelions were gone.
“The weeds are going to take over if you let them, but you just have to keep at it and keep pulling and keep chopping,” Delorme said. “It’s a lot of elbow grease.”
But good news could be on the way for those who want to see less yellow and white this summer: on Monday, Minister of Sustainable Development Rochelle Squires said to expect the delayed announcement about pesticide soon.
“We need to talk to retailers, consumers applicators and to ensure that the environmental integrity is being maintained,” Squires said. “Progress is being made but it’s important that we get it right.”
The province said it continues to have discussions with various parties and that any modifications to the ban would be carefully considered.