Oak Bay’s pesticide bylaw becomes reality today

Oak Bay’s new pesticide regulation bylaw comes into effect Friday (Apr. 1).

The regulation prevents property owners from applying non-essential pesticides to their outdoor greenery, from trees and shrubs to flowers and turf on public and private land.

The bylaw was adopted and passed by Oak Bay council on Jan. 24 as a means to protect the natural environment from chemicals. The bylaw does not apply in all scenarios, such as when agricultural land is involved.

Permit applications, however, can be made to the municipality to seek permission for limited use of pesticides. Examples include pest problems that may be financially detrimental to a property owner, when sensitive ecosystems are at risk, and controlling the spread of an invasive species or weeds that could make people sick.

Those who don’t obey the bylaw could face a summary conviction and a fine of up to $10,000.