The 2001 Canadian Supreme Court ruling that supported a municipality’s right to restrict pesticides sparked a nationwide struggle over who determines access to these products. Federal regulators have traditionally based their decisions on science, but more local authorities may not have the financial or scientific resources to cope with this issue. The use of pesticides for turfgrass and ornamentals became a lightning rod, as these were deemed non-essential or cosmetic uses. However, the agricultural sector remains concerned that this is just the thin edge of the wedge for anti-pesticide advocates. The public’s continued suspicion of all things chemical continues to pressure all levels of government, but may also provide some opportunities in plant health care research focused on lower risk products and management techniques.