Calgary Poll Summary

Summary of the Calgary Oracle Research Poll on a Pesticide Bylaw

In February 2006, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and the Sierra Club - Chinook Group commissioned Oracle Poll Research Group to do a survey. 500 randomly selected residents of Calgary, 18 years of age or older were surveyed.

The questions asked were:

Do you currently use cosmetic or nonessential pesticides on your home lawn or garden to control weeds and insects? 33 % -Yes, 62% No

Homeowners who currently use cosmetic pesticides were asked: “If you were provided with information on methods to have a lawn and garden that are free of cosmetic pesticides and also free of weeds, what would be the likelihood that you would stop using them? 64% - Totally likely.

Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with these statements:

Cosmetic or nonessential lawn pesticides used in my community pose a health threat to pets such as cats and dogs - 67% Totally agree, 11% Totally disagree

Cosmetic or nonessential lawn pesticides used in my community pose a health threat to children - 71% Totally agree, 13% Totally disagree

Cosmetic or nonessential lawn pesticides used in my community pose a threat to the environment including wildlife, air quality and ground water - Totally agree - 60%, Totally disagree - 9 %.

Respondents were read the statement below and then asked three questions on pesticide phase-outs:

“Towns and cities have the right to enact by-laws phasing out the use of cosmetic pesticides . . . a right that has been upheld by a recent Supreme Court ruling. Many municipalities in Ontario, Quebec, as well as other big cities across Canada (such as Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax) have recently phased out the cosmetic use of pesticides on residential lawns. Toronto and Mississauga have virtually eliminated pesticide use on weeds in local parks through legislation.”

Would you support or oppose a phase out of cosmetic pesticide use . . .

on private residential property - 82% support, 12 % oppose
in public parks in your community - 84 % support, 11% oppose
in other public places such as schools and hospitals - 89% support, 9 % oppose.

To download the full report on the poll, click here.