When pesticides are applied, the environment, including the water, air or earth, may get contaminated by these substances. They can have a harmful effect on organisms that are not targeted, including on human beings. This is why many countries have passed laws to control the sale and use of these products.
In Canada, pesticides are jointly governed by the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal authorities. The federal government controls the certification, marketing and labeling of pesticides. The provinces and territories can regulate the sale, use, storage, transportation and elimination of pesticides certified by the federal government. They also have the power to restrict or prohibit the use of certified products in their area of jurisdiction. For their part, municipalities in several provinces have the power to pass more detailed By-Laws, mainly in regard to the use of pesticides in urban areas, taking into account their special local features.
Other features included in By-Laws include initiatives focused essentially on information, awareness and the search for alternatives to the use of pesticides.