TORONTO — A lawsuit launched by environmental groups in a bid to protect pollinators from harmful
neonicotinoid pesticides will proceed to a full hearing, despite repeated attempts by the federal
government and companies that make the pesticides to shut the case down, a judge has ruled.
Yesterday, Justice Catherine Kane of the Federal Court upheld an earlier decision allowing the case to
proceed, dismissing an appeal by the federal government and three pesticide companies who in her
view had “microscopically dissected the … decision and offered interpretations of the jurisprudence that
stretch it beyond its meaning.” The case now proceeds to a full hearing to be scheduled shortly.
“Today’s decision means pollinators will finally have their day in court,” Lisa Gue, senior researcher and
analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation said. “Neonicotinoids should never have been registered for
use in the first place. Now, after more than a decade of large-scale use in agriculture, widespread
environmental contamination threatens biodiversity and ecosystems.”
Ecojustice lawyers first filed the lawsuit against Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA),
on behalf of the David Suzuki Foundation, Friends of the Earth Canada, Ontario Nature and the
Wilderness Committee, in 2016.
The suit seeks a court order declaring the PMRA’s decade-long practice of registering neonicotinoidSource : Ontario Beekeepers Association
pesticides, or neonics, for use in Canada without the scientific information necessary to gauge the risk to
pollinators to be unlawful. The case also challenges the PMRA’s failure to consult the public as required
by the Pest Control Products Act.