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Great Lakes Article:

Quebec to ban most non-farm pesticides by 2005

QUEBEC CITY — Bowing to pressure from the public and environmental groups, the Canadian province of Quebec said this week it will ban the use of most nonfarm pesticides by 2005.

Quebec will immediately move to ban the use of 30 highly noxious pesticides on public lands, including parks, schools, day-care centers, and hospitals.

As of 2005, the ban will be extended to private and commercial lands, Quebec Environment Minister Andre Boisclair told a news conference at a Quebec City park.

Pesticide use on agricultural land will not be affected.

"People's health is more important than a perfect lawn. I enjoin Quebecers to no longer use pesticides," Boisclair said.

The Quebec decision follows a 2001 Canadian Supreme Court ruling allowing cities to ban the use of pesticides in residential areas. The case had been presented to court by two chemical firms challenging a by-law in a Montreal suburb.

Boisclair said the sale of fertilizer/pesticide combination products will be banned as of next year and added that direct access to more noxious products used at home will be prohibited by 2004.

Golf courts will also have to set up plans to cut the use of pesticides by 2005.

Fines will range from C$500 to $3,000 (US$325 to $1,960).

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