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Neonics are pesticides that are hurting our pollinators, aquatic insects and impacting wildlife. Pollinators are essential for our food supply, our ecosystems and our enjoyment of nature.

Banning Neonics

Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) proposal to phase out three neonicotinoids: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin due to unacceptable risk to aquatic species was the correct decision to make, given evidence of serious harm.

CWF applauds Health Canada’s recent announcement to cancel certain uses of these neonicotinoids to address risks to pollinators. However, the decision to continue registration of products containing neonics makes no sense. Continued use of these pesticides is unacceptable, given the weight of scientific evidence of serious harm to pollinators, aquatic insects and other beneficial insects.

While other jurisdictions have banned the use of these neonicotinoids based on the same evidence of harm, we are concerned that Health Canada’s fragmented and lengthy approach to evaluating risks from neonics will impede species recovery.

With the power of our united voice, CWF delivered a strong message to the Government of Canada to:
• Accelerate the timeline for the proposed phase out of three neonics – clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid
• Work towards phasing out the registration of any future systemic pesticides and invest in alternatives
• Ensure that Agriculture Canada works to build a sustainable agriculture industry that is not dependent on poorly adapted seed varieties and high uses of pesticides
• Ensure a full assessment of the impacts of neonics on the species at risk that are likely to be affected, including bats, Monarch Butterflies, Yellow-banded Bumble Bees and Western Bumble Bees

Last summer, the Canadian Wildlife Federation launched a petition calling for a legislated, national ban on the use of all forms of neonicotinoid pesticides in agriculture, horticulture, turf production and golf courses. Under the CWF proposal, emergency use of neonics would be permitted for a limited number of years, but only under cases of severe pest outbreak and with a prescription from a certified agronomist.


Banning neonicotinoids is an imperative first step if we are to avoid long-lasting serious impacts on the very ecosystems that support farming in Canada. Next, we will need to work to recover species affected by these toxic chemicals and provide Canadian farmers with alternative pest control methods if we are to achieve sustainable agriculture.”
Carolyn Callaghan, Senior Conservation Science Biologist | Canadian Wildlife Federation

By The Numbers


“of the insecticide doesn’t go into the plant, but goes elsewhere in the environment.”David Goulson, University of Sussex, Brighton, England

insects are pollinators, such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths and bees – Canadian Species At Risk Registry


of Earth’s flowering plants rely on pollination by bees and other pollinators

What Can You Do?

Don’t use pesticides with neonics around your home and garden

Buy garden plants from stores that source neonic free plants.

Grow pollinator-friendly plants

To help support declining pollinator numbers, grow a variety of native flowers in your garden. Having a garden with flowers all season long is an excellent way to support our pollinators.