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Provincial Pesticide Investigator, what exactly does that mean? I’ve got a complaint, now what?

Danielle Neisz, Provincial Pesticide Investigator

Provincial Pesticide Investigator, what exactly does that mean and what do they do? My name is Danielle Neisz and I am the Provincial Pesticide Investigator for Saskatchewan. To sum it up, my role is education and compliance when it comes to pesticides use in Saskatchewan. The province works in conjunction with Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Health Canada is responsible for the registration of pesticides in Canada. All pesticide used in Canada, regardless of classification, must be registered with PMRA and assigned a Pesticide Control Product (PCP) number.

Danielle NeiszThe Province regulates Pesticide Licensing and there are three different pesticide licences available in Saskatchewan: Applicator, Service and Vendor.

As Provincial Pesticide Investigator, I perform inspections, investigations and random licence checks. Inspections are unannounced and investigations are performed after we receive a complaint or inquiry. A large majority of the complaints we receive are related to pesticide drift, we also receive complaints about improper storage and disposal of pesticides as well as improper pesticide use and application.

I have a complaint, now what? Both Health Canada and the Province investigate complaints. Knowing who to contact can help expedite the process. As a general rule, any complaints that are dealing with licensed applicators fall under the jurisdiction of the Province. Anyone who is applying pesticides for hire or reward would be considered a licensed applicator. Agricultural producers applying pesticides to land that they own or rent, are exempt from licensing requirements, and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of Health Canada. If you are unsure, a quick phone call to get clarification never hurts.

Once a complaint is received, I determine jurisdiction of the complaint and either provide the client with the contact information for PMRA or start an investigation. The first step in any investigation is having the client complete an Incident Report Form. This helps me determine the next steps.

The Provincial Pesticide Investigator is responsible for determining if someone is acting in contravention of The Pest Control Products (Saskatchewan) Act and/or The Pest Control Products Regulations (2015). Assessing the extent of the damage and assigning a monetary value is not a function of the Province or PMRA. Determining a monetary value of the damages can be done by hiring an independent Agrologist and claims for damages are resolved in Small Claims Court.  

I look at every inspection and investigation as an opportunity to educate people on the importance of responsible pesticide use. Using pesticides responsibly and within the law is all of our responsibility.

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