PMRA / Health Canada Inspections Underway

Posted June 22, 2022
By Jerry Rousseau
WCTA Executive Director

Over the past week, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has initiated compliance inspections of several golf courses in British Columbia and other provinces.

Prior to COVID, the BC Ministry of Environment visited dozens of golf facilities across the province with a focus on IPM licencing and pesticide storage.  PMRA compliance visits on the other hand, have been far less common with the last federally mandated inspections happening in 2013.  The recent initiative is driving questions from some in the industry as to their purpose and what if anything, is different from those of the BC MOE.

One PMRA compliance visit lasted about 3.5 hours focussing on pesticide application documentation, specifically 2022 application records and annual summary of usage for the past 5 years.  IPM was discussed and questioned.  PPE was also discussed and inspected.  A clipping sample was sent to Ottawa for analysis to ensure there are no traces of non-registered pesticides.  Finally, spray equipment was inspected with nozzle types recorded, the sites fill station and pesticide storage were looked at and the on-hand pesticide inventory was recorded.  Dialogue from PMRA inspectors stressed the importance of making sure pesticide labels are being read from start to finish even if they are 20 pages long.

Shaun Dhaliwal, Pesticide Compliance & Enforcement Officer stated via email, “There isn’t any major issue or catalyst.  It’s been many years since most areas have been inspected.  Also there’s been lots of re-evaluations affecting the sector.  So it was one of many priorities for this year.”  He added, “There is also sampling as standard protocol.”

To translate, while the respective provincial Ministries of Environment and even Worksafe branches play a major role in the safe storage, application, transport and disposal of pesticides, conducting regular compliance inspections as they see fit, the PMRA is ultimately responsible for pesticide regulation in Canada and so plays a role in compliance with federal jurisdiction over product registration/re-evaluation, labelling and environmental impacts.  

If you have any questions or comments on the subject, please contact me.