Munipal Pesticide Debates

Various discussions related to Chemical Pesticides, Herbicides, Etc.

Get your lawn and garden in shape for spring

Postby adminjt » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:45 pm

Saturday April 24th, 2010

Moncton Times & Transcript

It's time for yard work
Get your lawn and garden in shape for spring

By Susanne MacDonald
Times & Transcript Staff

Hendrickus (Joe) Wynberg, general manager for Signature Landscape Ltd. and Eco Grass 2001 Ltd. says there are a number of things people can do to prepare.

"They should pick up and remove debris such as branches, rocks and garbage. They can fan rake the lawn area to remove smaller debris and, more importantly, to release grass that is matted down. This will allow air, water, sun and nutrients to more easily to reach the soil.

"People should inspect their shrubs and trees for broken branches and properly cut those branches to promote healthy growth. Early spring is the best time to transplant or simply plant new shrubs."

Joe also recommends that dormant oil be applied to trees and shrubs to help prevent pest damage, that a mulch product be applied to planting areas to help retain moisture, and garden soil be amended if needed.

Lawn aeration is another consideration.

David Thompson, president of Greenpoint North Lawn Care Inc. (Weed Man), says it's important to aerate in the spring in order to relieve the areas compacted by ice and snow and to penetrate the thatch layer.

"Thatch is the build up of organic matter from decaying plants. Thatch that becomes too thick can inhibit oxygen circulation in the soil and root systems for grass, inhibiting growth.

"Aeration penetrates the thatch layer and allows oxygen to circulate in the soil and get to the roots. Raking the grass helps, but aeration is the most effective way to deal with thatch."

David says homeowners should also fertilize their lawn to provide it with nutrients to help the grass grow and recommends that they apply lime.

"Liming increases the pH of the soil over time -- more acidic soil means less healthy grass, moss growth and more weeds, which grow better in acidic soil. Liming improves soil health and healthy soil is the foundation for healthy grass."

Joe says that one thing people should not do is try to remove dead grass out of their lawn by heavily raking it.

"This is not necessary and is actually considered counterproductive because this dead matter creates future food for the lawn through the process of decomposition.

"Another mistake people make in the spring is that they over fertilize with nitrogen to help the lawn turn green faster. Though some nitrogen is good, too much will force the lawn to grow faster at a time when grass grows fast anyway.

"This will put a lot of stress on the root system and create excess thatch, which can make proper lawn mowing difficult because the grass will grow faster than it can be cut."

David cautions against using a de-thatcher on lawns.

"We find that de-thatchers tend to damage the root systems of the grass when it tears up thatch. We feel strongly that people are better off aerating their lawn and allowing the thatch to be reduced gradually, by allowing oxygen to move through the thatch layer, which encourages the thatch to break down over time."

If planting grass, Joe says the type of grass used depends where it is being planted and for what reason -- whether it's a shaded area, a high traffic, maintenance requirements etc.

"The most popular seed mixture used in our region is Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, perennial rye grass."

David concurs, explaining that the rye grass provides for quick and early germination and helps the grass fill in more quickly.

"The Kentucky bluegrass does better in sunny areas and stays green longer in the dry summer; however, it does not do well in shade and is not as disease- and insect-resistant as other seed varieties.

"Fescue does better in shady areas, is more resistant to disease and insects, but needs more moisture to stay green. It usually browns up the earliest in the dry summer months."

David says one of the biggest mistakes people make with regards to lawncare is mowing their grass too short.

"This is a common error. They think that mowing lower will mean that they will have to mow less frequently. Many people also like the look of a closely mowed lawn.

"However, if you mow lower than 2-1/2 inches, then you are likely cutting off too much of the plant and damaging it. This leads to plant disease, greater susceptibility to insects and weeds.

"The ideal mowing height is three inches, and you should mow frequently enough that you are taking off no more than one-third of the grass blade. The frequency of mowing depends on the time of year and the climate. It can be as frequently as every four to five days or as long as two weeks.

"It's a fallacy that you need to mow more frequently if you cut higher. If you are using proper mowing techniques by cutting one-third of the grass blade off and mowing to a height of three inches, this means that you will wait for the grass to grow one and a half inches before you have to cut.

"However, if you mow to a height of two inches, you will need to mow after you get one inch of growth."

Brent Ayles, vice-president and general manager, of Ayles Natural Landscaping Ltd. says the biggest mistake with lawn care is trying to take a 'quick fix' approach.

"The road most travelled has been to try to fix things for the visual appearance and fix it fast," he says. "That most often means relying on a control product/pesticide for a quick change in appearance, like a weed control.

"We need to look beneath the lawn. We need to inspect the thatch layer, the dead organic matter that separates the lawn from the soil and the soil depth.

"In order to grow a healthy natural lawn, one that requires no chemical inputs and will out-compete weeds and any infestations, many things must be considered.

"We need to inspect the soil depth (ideally 6 inches), ensure nutrient contents are adequate, check the organic matter, pH (percentage hydrogen), and even look at soil compaction, and proper cultural practices."

Joe says lawn care is a complex process that should be based on science.

"Fertilizing a lawn should be based on a soil test and what nutrients are deficient in the soil," he says. "There are many aspects to a proper lawncare program and (a soil test) is the one service I would urge homeowners to contract out."

When it comes to deciding on the use of pesticides, David says there are many misconceptions about pesticides.

"All the pesticides that are available on store shelves or used by lawncare companies have been approved for use by Health Canada, when used in accordance with the directions on the label." he says.

"We recommend that people use products that they are comfortable with. In some cases, people are more comfortable with the use of organic pesticides than synthetic or chemical pesticides.

"However, people should make sure they educate themselves on the toxicity of the product they do choose to use. In some cases, organic pesticides (such as horticultural vinegars) are more toxic than many of the synthetic products used today.

"Information on toxicity is available on the label of the product and on the Internet, either from the manufacturer or on Health Canada's website.

"If someone hires a lawn-care professional, they should ask for this information from their lawn-care provider. Whatever product people decide to use, they should ensure they follow the instructions on the label for mixing, if required, plus storage and use."

Joe says that pesticides are considered to be any product that eliminates a pest -- whether weeds or insects -- and that this could be either a natural product or a chemical product.

"The only way to reduce the need for pesticides is to grow plants at optimum levels so that the plant can out-compete any pest that will pose a threat. This process is extensive and requires plant knowledge and a fair amount of time. People will also be required to be more tolerant of weeds and insects."

Brent says that his company likes to use pesticides only as a last resort. "Our company policy is to do everything we can for the landscape that avoids using chemicals," he says.

"On occasion we do utilize a control product for infestations but people must realize a hundred per cent weed- or insect-free lawn is not attainable, nor is it a healthy growing environment.

"Pesticides are a quick-fix solution, not a long-term solution. We are committed to building and maintaining landscapes with no chemicals. The trick is to educate the public that this is possible.

"We have been focusing our operation from day one on the model that chemicals are not an option."

If you do use pesticides, Brent recommends following these safety guideline.

"Wear proper protective equipment like a respirator, safety glasses, boots, and cloth suit -- clothing that protects you from any exposure; notify other homeowners in the area and remain off the lawn for 24-48 hours, both humans and pets." ... le/1028228
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Ontario Lawns And Gardens Getting Greener

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:38 pm

Ontario Lawns And Gardens Getting Greener
April 21, 2010
McGuinty Government Marks Anniversary of Cosmetic Pesticides Ban
Tomorrow - Earth Day - marks the first anniversary of Ontario 's cosmetic pesticides ban, one of the toughest in the world.
The ban on cosmetic pesticides is part of the McGuinty government's commitment to protect children and families from pollution and toxic chemicals through tough new environmental laws. About 250 cosmetic pesticide products were banned for sale.
Over the past year, Ontarians have also been doing their part by using healthier products and services, and reducing the use of pesticides around their homes, parks and playgrounds.
These actions are helping to build a stronger, more sustainable economy. Retailers are stocking eco-friendly lawn and garden products. Manufacturers are investing in innovation and developing new technologies and products.
"You can have a healthy lawn and garden without the unnecessary risk posed by using conventional pesticides for purely cosmetic reasons. We are reducing the risk to our health and to the environment, and protecting the most vulnerable of our citizens, our children."
– John Gerretsen
Minister of the Environment
• Through the Cosmetic Use Pesticide Research and Innovation Program, nine projects have received $432,000 to promote the development of greener alternatives to pest control.
• Using proper lawn maintenance techniques will help discourage weeds in lawns
• Consumers can still purchase pesticides for public health or safety reasons.
• Tips on caring for lawns and gardens
• Read about the Cosmetic Use Pesticide Research and Innovation Program
• Find a location to dispose of unwanted or banned domestic pesticides
• Contact information for the general public
• Lyndsay Miller
Minister’s Office
• Kate Jordan
Communications Branch

Ministry of the Environment
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Pesticide restriction a good start, but ban would be better

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:55 pm

Wednesday April 21st, 2010

The Fredericton Daily Gleaner

Pesticide restriction a good start, but ban would be better - Coon

Environment Minister Rick Miles went to Wilmot Park in Fredericton on Tuesday to remind homeowners that the sale and use of more than 240 over-the-counter lawn care pesticides and the use of all 2,4-D products on residential lawns have been outlawed in New Brunswick.

The new regulations came into effect Jan. 1.

Miles said people need the reminder now because with the arrival of nice spring weather, they're thinking about their lawns.

"New Brunswick is the first province in Atlantic Canada and the third in Canada to adopt a comprehensive product ban on lawn care pesticides," he said.

"Reducing the reliance on pesticides in the province will contribute to a sustainable environment and a self-sufficient New Brunswick by 2026."

Homeowners, however, can still spot-treat weeds using pre-mixed, over-the-counter products, and lawn care companies can use pesticides if they have proper training in integrated pest management and don't use pesticides over more than 50 per cent of a lawn in one season.

Pesticides are still allowed on parks, sports fields, school yards and hospital grounds.

Golf courses are exempted from the 2,4-D ban, provided staff has integrated pest management training.

Forestry and agriculture operations aren't affected by the regulations.

"This ban will contribute to an improved environment and quality of life for all residents of the province," said Miles.

He said Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are considering similar controls.

Miles said the province doesn't have an enforcement program to go along with the new restrictions.

He said people who are caught violating the regulations will initially receive warnings and educational information, but fines are possible for repeat offenders.

"I strongly encourage all New Brunswickers to adhere to the environmental laws in the province and find greener ways of managing their lawns," he said.

People who want to get rid of banned pesticides should take them to landfills for proper disposal, he said.

Healthy lawns are less susceptible to pest problems and the Department of Environment's website has tips on how to develop a healthy lawn.

That includes feeding the lawn compost and grass clippings, aerating compacted soil, over-seeding thin areas, mowing high to promote growth and watering deeply and infrequently to promote deep roots.

David Coon, executive director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, said the regulations are a good first step, but the province needs to ban cosmetic pesticides.

"It hasn't solved the problem of eliminating this as a health risk for people living in urban areas where it is used extensively," he said.

"We worked with the cancer society and the New Brunswick Lung Association to try and convince government to bring in a comprehensive ban, and they took this fairly significant step forward, but they held back on going for the complete ban."

Coon said he hopes the issue of a ban on pesticides is debated during the fall election campaign, along with other environmental issues.

Stephen MacGillivray
Environment Minister Rick Miles held a press conference in Wilmot Park on Tuesday to talk about the province’s pesticide restrictions. ... le/1024219
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A dreamy weed

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:59 pm

April 20, 2010

The Kitchener-Waterloo - Letter to the Editor -

A dreamy weed

Re: Dandelions all over — April 17

Regarding Ruth Wright’s opinion on cosmetic pesticide use aside, I’d like to ask what the problem is with dandelions.

Sure, we classify them as weeds, but we routinely pay money for plants that are considered weeds in other countries (like passionflowers for instance).

I happen to love dandelions. Grass is so boring; the little flowers resembling “pops of sunshine” brighten that carpet of green and make me smile.

Despite being allergic to just about every seasonal plant pollen, I also deliberately walk through them when they go to seed; there is something dreamy and whimsical about watching those seeds drift away.

So, Ms. Wright, I suggest you take the time to look at and enjoy these flowers; perhaps even pick one up and blow away a wish on the wind.

Corrine O’Neill

Warning Industry Propaganda Below

April 17, 2010

The Kitchener-Waterloo - Letter to the Editor

Dandelions everywhere

Re: Don’t weed it, eat it — April 14

The illustration directing readers to the Arts and Life section’s dandelion recipes in this edition was a sunflower. No problem. Soon you can refresh your dandelion memory over and over again every direction you look. Do they bear any resemblance to a sunflower? Be thankful that they don’t.

Alas, we’ll need to find a use for these dandelions, since the ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides, Bill 64, enacted in April 2009, decrees that we have to look at them and/or eat them. We can cut them, pick them or dig them, but we can’t spray them.

While you enjoy these delicacies, think about the present Ontario government and the untruths and deceptive tactics that led to this ban.

Ruth Wright

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Pesticide ban can only be a benefit to all

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:00 pm

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Nanaimo Daily News - Editorial

Pesticide ban can only be a benefit to all

Nanaimo residents who rely on chemical pesticides and herbicides for lawn and garden care may want to start thinking now about alternatives.

Barring city council doing an about-face, it would seem they are set to pass a bylaw that would begin the process of ending the sale and use of such pesticides in the city.

There may be problems with this proposed bylaw, not the least of which is that without provincial legislation it will remain quite legal for stores to sell such products.

Those Nanaimo residents who aren't about to stock up on their favoured chemical pesticides, or who intend on just making trips to other jurisdictions where they remain legal, have some learning to do.

While the production of chemical pesticides during the past decades have made it easy to have a weed-free lawn and a low-maintenance vegetable patch, that does not mean we can't have lush green lawns and bountiful crops without the assistance of the chemical industry.

The reality is that the impact of pesticides on the environment is undeniable.

While a little bit of this and a little bit of that seem harmless, that may be true if thousands of homeowners were not thinking the same thing.

The result is that harmful toxins are building up in our environment, due not to overuse, but extended and extensive use. Such toxins harm not only fish and wildlife, but make their way back to us. And the impact on humans from such chemicals is ugly and often deadly.

Ultimately, the province will outlaw these chemicals. Even the threats by multi-nationals to use provisions of the North American Free Trade Act to challenge such laws will not likely be effective.

Any court will likely side with a jurisdiction that presents the overwhelming scientific evidence of the harm done by such products.

Pesticides are the new cigarettes; chemical companies who want to use NAFTA should be more concerned about a plethora of lawsuits that will be coming their way over the next decade or so.

The slide into a new relationship with our lawns and gardens is not only inevitable, but healthy. Not only will we eliminate toxins, but those who want traditional lawns and gardens will have to put more elbow grease into their efforts when they go chemical-free.

One thing that those who want the perfect lawn will have to learn is that there is no perfection.

Having 10 to 15% of weeds in a healthy pesticide-free lawn is going to happen, said Blake Howe of Bumblebee Lawn Care.

There are lots of tricks, techniques and tools that can be used to replace chemicals in the quest for the ideal lawn and garden.

And one of the lessons of this new approach is that watering is overrated, which is good news because water is also something we are gaining a new awareness about.

Limited watering makes for a healthier lawn.

That's good news for those who manage our water supply and are trying hard to get us to ease up on its use.

The Canadian Cancer Society has for years been saying that the risk of achieving pretty lawns and gardens with pesticides far outweighs the reward. Cancer rates are too high and no one can argue that preventing cancer is better than curing it.

So, get out the garden tools and start looking for natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

You will benefit and so will future generations.

© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2010 ... f6333d94f8
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Re: Munipal Pesticide Debates in BC

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:22 pm

From: Lucy, Bob ENV:EX <>
Subject: Cosmetic Use of Pesticides in British Columbia
To: "Lucy, Bob ENV:EX" <>
Received: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 6:51 PM
This email is being sent to all people who expressed an interest in being notified about “next steps” in the government of British Columbia ’s public consultation process on the cosmetic use of pesticides.

The Ministry of Environment has carefully reviewed every response received during the consultation. Those responses have been compiled into a summary report so those who are interested can see the full range of submissions received. The summary report has been posted on the Consultation Forum web page.

All comments are being considered by the ministry in determining ways to address the non-essential use of use of pesticides in British Columbia .

Bob Lucy
Pesticides Licence Officer
Integrated Pest Management Program
Environmental Management Branch
B.C. Ministry of Environment
ph: (250) 356-0475
fax: (250) 387-8897
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Grubby grubs ruining Metro lawns

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:25 pm

Warning Industry Propaganda Below

April 14, 2010

The Vancouver Province

Grubby grubs ruining Metro lawns

Crows, raccoons, skunks dig up turf to get tender juicy morsels

By Damian Inwood, The Province

Thousands of Lower Mainland lawns are long gone, thanks to the European chafer beetle, an underground bug that's chomping its way across the region.

And millions of the chubby, white, 2.5-centimetre grubs -- enough to supply reality-TV show Survivor for a lifetime -- are to blame.

"This thing has become a major disaster," Ian Wraight, owner of Surrey-based Nutri-Lawn, said Wednesday. "We're now up to damage in the millions of dollars. You see lawns that look like a Rototiller attacked them."

The problem is not the beetles themselves but the grubs that grow from the eggs they lay. They eat grass roots and then form a tasty snack for raccoons, skunks and crows, which dig them out of the ground.

Wraight said the infestation has spread from Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster to Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam and has crossed the Fraser River into Delta.

So far, the problem hasn't spread to any farmland production areas, said Tracy Hueppelsheuser, an entomologist for B.C.'s Plant Health Unit in Abbotsford.

Ontario farmers have suffered losses because of the beetle, Hueppelsheuser said.

"Crops listed as damaged by chafer include winter wheat, corn ginseng, highbush blueberries, pasture and hay," she said. "These crops are all grown in southern B.C., and chafer presents a serious risk to B.C.'s horticulture industry. It has potential for great damage."

Urban communities must be aggressive in trying to stop the spread of the beetle, she said.

For Vancouver resident Christine Filer, the grubs have left a "gross," unsightly, expensive mess in front of her West 27th Avenue home.

"There are millions of them," said the 41-year-old unemployed market analyst.

Filer said she's had an estimate of between $200 and $250 just to put down dirt and re-seed the front lawn. If she replaces the lawn, it'll be much more, she added.

Tracy Weldon, the City of Burnaby's environmental services officer, said homeowners should allow their lawns to grow to a "healthy" five to eight centimetres, which helps stop the beetles laying their eggs in the soil after they mate. Grass lawns with a mix of clover are also less attractive to the beetle.

Using pesticides for "cosmetic" purposes is banned in most Lower Mainland municipalities, but biofriendly treatments -- such as using nematodes, microscopic roundworms that destroy the grubs -- are allowed.

© Copyright (c) The Province

Christine Filer stands Wednesday on her West 27th Avenue lawn, damaged by the European chafer beetle.
Photograph by: Ward Perrin, PNG, The Province ... id=2909055

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Surrey joins widening cosmetic pesticide ban in BC

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:26 pm

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CBC News

Surrey joins widening cosmetic pesticide ban
Advocates calling for province-wide ban on sale of products

The City of Surrey, B.C., is expected to pass a ban on the use of pesticides, according to Mayor Dianne Watts.The City of Surrey, B.C., is expected to pass a ban on the use of pesticides, according to Mayor Dianne Watts. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

Surrey is expected to become the latest B.C. municipality to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides, but some advocates say it is time for a province-wide ban on the sale of the products.

Mayor Dianne Watts says the new by-law, similar to those already in place in Vancouver, Richmond and about two dozen other B.C. communities, should pass near the end of the month.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, a growing body of evidence is linking the pesticides to several cancers, including adult and childhood leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer and some brain cancers.

Watts says that is why the ban is important for the health of everyone in the community.

"You've got children walking through the lawns and it affects our children and it affects our animals," said Watts.

But not every community is embracing the idea of banning cosmetic pesticides and herbicides.

Coquitlam is one of the few Lower Mainland cities that still allow the use cosmetic pesticides. City Councillor Selina Robinson says she's pushed for a ban, but it has so far been rejected.

"I brought forward a motion ...and I couldn't get a majority of council to support that notice of motion," said Selina.
Province-wide ban considered

That kind of opposition to bans on use has advocates pushing for tougher rules banning the sale of the products altogether.

Ashley Duyker, a community coordinator with the Canadian Cancer Society, notes even if the use of pesticides is banned in one municipality, that does not mean stores cannot sell them.

"There's 29 communities banning the use, the struggle really becomes when products are still for sale," said Duyker.

"We're calling for a ban.... The general public doesn't understand that these products are potentially harmful and potentially illegal to use in their communities," she said.

In its last throne speech the B.C. government said it would consider a ban on the sale of cosmetic pesticides.

Duyker expects to hear back from the province in a matter of days on whether that will happen. ... z0l6RbcSHV
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Pesticide debate resurfaces

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:31 pm

April 13, 2010

Salmon Arm Observer

Pesticide debate resurfaces

By Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer

Salmon Arm gardens and other residential greenery will likely go another season pesticide free.

City council has agreed to review Salmon Arm’s year-old pesticide bylaw, though with some reluctance from Couns. Debbie Cannon and Chad Eliason.

“We all stood behind this pesticide bylaw, and this will technically be our first year going into it fully,” said Cannon, who was amenable to “tweaking” the bylaw, but only in relation to fruit growers. Otherwise, she favoured leaving the bylaw for the season.

“I think we owe it to have one full year… and see if it changes our way of thinking about what we decide to put in for landscaping, how we’re going to manage our gardens…,” said Cannon.

Coun. Kevin Flynn, said that council agreed to review the bylaw after a year. He said there are inconsistencies in the bylaw and that it contains a lot of things that weren’t researched as well as they should have been.

Flynn also argued on behalf of the Integrated Pest Management industry, and the lack of input they had in the bylaw.

“I think we owe it to the IPM companies, and we are one of the few communities that has banned them from doing their job based on their profession,” said Flynn. ... 15009.html
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Hold fast on pesticide provisions

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:33 pm

April 13, 2010

Salmon Arm Observer

Hold fast on pesticide provisions

It’s a debate reminiscent of the controversy surrounding cigarettes years ago.

For many years, scientific research showed the evidence that cigarette smoke was detrimental to people’s health. These studies were, for years, vehemently denied by the tobacco industry. Now, even they have been forced to admit that smoking isn’t good for anyone’s health.

It seems the same with pesticides. Numerous studies have linked the use of cosmetic pesticides to health concerns. A large body of evidence indicates cosmetic pesticides like 2,4-D cause major health issues. Environmental contamination has been documented, especially in wetland areas. Children, in particular, have been shown to be at increased risk of exposure to pesticides that have the potential to do more harm than to adults because their bodies are still developing. The Canadian Cancer Society concurs. And yet, there is still a lobbying effort out there claiming the use of chemical pesticides is safe and even beneficial.

The City of Salmon Arm has been one of an ever-growing number of jurisdictions to implement a ban on the use of cosmetic pesticides.

Ever since, city officials have been targeted by representatives of the pesticide and lawn care industry calling for a softening of local regulations. It appears they may have, at least partially succeeded. At Monday’s council meeting, council members agreed to review the components of the city’s pesticide bylaw. It is our hope that their so-called review does not lead to a shift in policy. We believe councillors should uphold the current bylaw and act in the best interest of the health of our entire community. After all, whose interests are the pesticide supporters out to protect?

© Copyright Black Press. All rights reserved. ... 15159.html

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