A specific class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (neonics) are harmful to bees and it’s slowly being recognized and banned all over the world but Canada still hasn’t banned this harmful pesticide.

In 2012, a Health Canada investigation confirmed a link between unusually high bee deaths and the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on corn crops in Ontario and Quebec. That same year, a beekeeper in Elmwood, Ontario reported the loss of 37 million bees after nearby cornfields were planted with seeds coated in the pesticide. In 2013, near a Target store in Oregon, 55 trees were sprayed with a neonicotinoid pesticide called Safari. Within days, an estimated 50,000 bumblebees were found dead and dying beneath the trees.

In June 2014, international researchers released the findings of a comprehensive four-year scientific study on neonics, which conclusively demonstrated that these pesticides are a serious risk to bees, butterflies, birds and earthworms. The authors of the international study clearly state that "there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action."

After the incident in Oregon, officials have temporarily restricted the use of neonicotinoids in the states. In 2018 the European Union officially banned the neonicotinoid insecticides due to the serious danger they pose to bees... In late 2014, the Ontario provincial government also proposed new rules that would eventually see an 80% reduction in the use of these harmful pesticides. Unfortunately, federal regulators in Canada are falling far behind. 

In 2018, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency proposed some changes to how we use neonicotinoids in Canada. But the changes are not good enough. For example, one of the changes is that extra labelling will be put on pesticide products for safer ways to use the product. But this is not good enough, we cannot put the fate of the bees and other pollinators in “suggested use” labels. 

In response to this extremely upsetting and concerning announcement, more than 800 Wilderness Committee activists wrote into the PMRA and Health Canada demanding that their proposed changes are not good enough and that a full ban on neonics is needed. 

The Wilderness Committee is joining other bee advocates across the country to push for a complete, nation-wide ban on these bee-killing pesticides – before it’s too late. In 2018, after the PMRA announced that they would still allow neonicotinoids to be widely used, a group of NGOs across Canada submitted a letter urging Prime Minister Trudeau to ban these toxic pesticides once and for all.

You can help by signing the petition to demand a ban on neonicotinoids across Canada!

Bees may be small, but the impact they have on our environment – and our daily lives – is immense. 

To download a PDF version of the petition to print out and collect signatures in your community, click here.

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