Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Latest Ontario Ban

Premier Dalton McGuinty will be banning 'cosmetic' pesticide use today. Yesterday it was a reannouncement of the ban on putting cigarettes on display in stores.

Today he is playing up fears of impending eco-catastrophe and trying to look 'green' on Earth Day. To do this, instead of making any meaningful public policy changes or controlling anything in his purview, he is banning the sale of cosmetic pesticides.

There is plenty of research that indicate such bans do nothing but increase the proliferation of pests and weeds. Pest and weeds cause many other problems for health; anaphylaxis and asthma-related problems for example. A sleeping pill has a greater cancer causing risk than health Canada approved levels of pesticides.

But as interventionist governments are wont to do, they would rather issue a ban than actually clean up the environment.

For example, for every litre of water that comes out of my tap, between one and three litres drains into the ground because sewers leak so badly. An issue like this won't get fixed because McGuinty would rather be seen to be doing something that do the heavy lifting of actually doing something.

Doing something requires making a hard choice and prioritizing spending. Prioritizing spending would mean less cash for his pet projects and his union buddies.

So don't hold your breath waiting for this premier to actually clean the environment. He cares more about looking green than actually being green.

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