Quebec Pesticide Code (July 2002)

Minister André Boisclair
Ministry of the Environment
Édifice Marie-Guyart
675, boulevard René-Lévesque East, 30th Floor
Québec (Québec) G1R 5V7

Honourable Minister Boisclair,

I cannot say how delighted I am, for myself, for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment of which I am president, and for the people of Québec and of Canada, as a result of the bold and critically important action you have taken to progressively eliminate cosmetic synthetic pesticide use in Québec.

Your actions will surely be recorded in history as a clarion call for human and ecosystem health, and for a sustainable planet for future generations. You have spoken out for all citizens by enunciating, on July 3, in Québec City, a Pesticide Code for your province. It has been fifteen years since Québec’s pesticide law was adopted, but no government until now has succeeded in adopting a Pesticide Code to enforce that law. By doing so yourself, in such a decisive and deeply informed manner, building on the momentum generated by the clear endorsement of the precautionary principle embodied in the recent report of the Cousineau Commission, you have moved your jurisdiction into the forefront of a world-wide transition towards safety and security for all members of society, and for the living web of organisms around us on which we depend absolutely for survival.

I lived for 7 years in Montréal, and completed my medical training in “la belle province”. The special qualities of Québec society which I discerned then have now been reinforced by this new and powerful initiative. Combined with your province’s stringent regulatory support of organic growing, it places Québec in a unique position in the Western world, and clearly thrusts your government into a position of leadership in these areas within the Canadian federation. I hope that your decisive action will be responded to by similar actions in other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world.

It is already obvious that special interest groups, in particular those for whom the status quo is a source of financial gain, are mounting significant resistance to the changes you have introduced. I am confident your government will hold fast against this resistance, and I pledge the unfailing support of our organization, composed of medical doctors and scientists, as well as other health professionals and citizens at large, to help maintain your admirable initiative. In particular, we can and do attest to the sound scientific and public health basis on which you have grounded your decisions.

Thank you, on behalf of CAPE, all citizens of this planet, and the diverse, complex and wonderful natural world that sustains us.


Warren Bell MD



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