Since Montreal banned the sale of synthetic pesticides on its territory more than a year ago, only one business has been found in violation. This is Mega Center Montreal, located in Saint-Léonard, whose president, Angela Gentile, is a councilor in the same borough.
Mega Center Montreal received four tickets last September for “selling or offering for sale” pesticides containing glyphosate and malathion at its Pascal-Gagnon Boulevard location.
The company was convicted of three of those offenses in mid-March. The court appearance for the fourth offense has been postponed to the end of May. The three judgments were rendered by default, in the absence of the defendant, indicate the minutes of the municipal court.
The president of Mega Center Montreal, Angela Gentile, is a councilor for the Saint-Léonard-Est district and official opposition critic for commercial development.
Ms. Gentile being held in a lake-on-the-shoulder with the borough on Wednesday, it was her daughter, Cristina Di Re, director of customer service at the Mega Center, who answered us.
The company had challenged the findings by mail, but was unaware of the court date, Di Re said in a telephone interview. She therefore wants to appeal judgments.
Mega Center wishes to show its sales register and the credit note produced by its supplier on the return of the products, to prove that the banned pesticides had not been the subject of any transaction after the violations.
The trade was found in default twice in April 2022. This is more than four months after the entry into force of the Montreal regulation prohibiting the retail sale of synthetic pesticides.
“Before we had the inspection, these products were on our shelves because we were waiting for more clarification regarding these prohibitions,” said Ms. Di Re.
At the first inspection, on April 12, three Roundup brand herbicides, whose main active ingredient is glyphosate, were offered for sale, the municipal employee’s report noted. The latter issued a notice of violation to the manager demanding that the three offending products be removed from the shelves within 48 hours.
When the official returned 12 days later, it was Ms. Di Re who received her. Two of the reported herbicides were still on the shelves, and a third banned product, an insecticide-miticide containing malathion, was spotted. Ms. Di Re received the second offense notice.
The prohibited products were withdrawn and the employees were informed the same day, assures the director of customer service.
The products found in violation were Roundup Ready-to-Use, Roundup Super Concentrate and Roundup Concentrate, as well as Malathion Liquid Insecticide-Miticide Concentrate, the violation report said.
The three guilty verdicts relate to malathion and two Roundup products. The business received $4,250 in fines and $1,256 in costs, for a total of $5,506. The violation for the third Roundup product, for which the company must return to court in May, carries a fine of $1,250, and at least $308 in costs.
Montreal was the first city in Quebec to ban the sale of pesticides containing 36 active ingredients, including glyphosate, in January 2022.
The Office of Ecological Transition and Resilience (BTER) had identified 65 businesses targeted by the new regulations. During the first spring inspection tour, 14 of them, or more than one in five, received violation notices.
“All were inspected afterwards. The final result is that only one business has reoffended,” a city spokeswoman told us by email. This is how Mega Center Montreal received four statements of offence.
“It should be noted that [following] the delivery of the tickets, the BTER carried out a final inspection last fall, the business was then in compliance with the regulations,” the City pointed out.
A few customers asked for banned pesticides after they were taken off the shelves, says Di Re. “Especially for Roundup, because it was a product that people were familiar with. We offered them another solution, a product that we could sell. »
To reduce the use of pesticides in urban areas, Quebec proposes to extend the list of active ingredients banned from retail sale throughout the province. There would be 61, almost three times more than today (22), indicates the draft regulations presented at the end of February. However, glyphosate does not appear, denounced the militant network Vigilance OGM.
In the meantime, at least one other city, namely Granby, in Estrie, will ban the sale of glyphosate-based herbicides, starting in June.