OTTAWA -- In preparation for the upcoming provincial and federal Agricultural Ministers in Halifax, Sierra Club Canada released public opinion polling showing strong support from Canadians for government action on banning the use of pesticides that have been proven to cause bee deaths. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is also the province’s Agriculture Minister, said she will be raising issue of declining bees at the meeting.
RELATED: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW POLL
The Sierra Club’s poll, commissioned late last week, shows that two out of every three Canadians asked support a ban on neonicotinoids, the chemicals linked by scientists to the alarming increase in bee deaths, especially in Ontario and Quebec. Ten per cent of those polled said they were opposed to a ban, and 24 per cent said they were unsure.
In the 1,000 member poll, 95 per cent of the respondents supporting the ban also said that if the federal government refused to ban the chemicals, they would support their provincial governments taking action.
“The Canadian public have issued a strong call to action – demanding our governments move now to protect bees,” said John Bennett, Executive Director, Sierra Club Canada. “Our polling results show Canadians are aware of the growing crisis, and expect a response.”
Earlier this year governments in Europe banned the use of these pesticides, and other countries are currently considering similar action. “Canada must act immediately to ban neonicotinoids in order to save our bee populations, which have suffered heavy losses, and upon which much of our food and agricultural industry is dependent” said Dan Davidson, President of Ontario Beekeepers Association.
The automated survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between July 11 and July 14 by First Contact. The results show that 66% of Canadians support a ban on neonicotinoids, with 78% of those familiar with the issue supporting a ban. Support is highest in Ontario, where a recent kill of 36 million bees was widely reported. Of those supporting a ban, 95% want their provincial governments to impose a ban should the federal government fail to act. Only 10% of Canadians oppose a ban, and only 6% oppose a ban when they know alternative, bee-safe pesticides are available.
The Sierra Club Canada is a national environmental organization that works on matters of public policy and has recently launched a Save the Bees campaign. First Contact conducts research on behalf of NGO’s, trade unions and political parties.
For more information contact:
John Bennett, Executive Director, Sierra Club of Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org 613 241 4611
Dennis Edell, Ontario Beekeepers Association: email@example.com 416 918 4448
Mike O’Neill, President, First Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 647 519 1264