Ontario farmers require pesticide safety certification to purchase and use Class B and C pesticides on their farms. For Ontario’s growers whose certification expired on or after January 1, 2020 and who were unable to renew their certification during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has extended their certificates until December 31, 2021.
This extension will accommodate those who continue to be unable to renew their certificates either online or in-person, and allow Ontario’s growers to continue to purchase and use the products they need for the 2021 growing season.
Ontario farmers whose certificates have been extended should have received an email from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Farmers who are eligible for this extension but who did not receive an email from the ministry can obtain a copy of the letter on the Ontario Pesticide Education Program website, which can be used as evidence of the extension.
Since the provincial declaration of the COVID-19 emergency in April 2020, the University of Guelph has been working closely with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to improve the delivery of the Ontario Pesticide Education Program, provide more at-home study options, and promote the online certification option to growers to ensure compliance with public health measures that protect the public and course instructors. Pesticide safety courses continue to be offered in a variety of formats for growers that need to recertify before their new expiration date of December 31, 2021. Growers are encouraged to sign up for opportunities to renew their pesticide safety certification by visiting the Ontario Pesticide Education Program website or by calling 1-800-652-8573.