Cavers: Time is right to tackle pesticide use
With a government committee rejecting calls for a ban on cosmetic-pesticide use, Kamloops Coun. Donovan Cavers thinks it’s time to revisit the issue locally.
Cavers plans to introduce a motion similar to one he raised in February, one that calls for a citywide ban on cosmetic-pesticide use.
After discussing it with other councillors at the time, Cavers decided to wait to see what the province would do in terms of pesticide legislation.
On Thursday, May 16, the province’s Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides recommended new restrictions on the sale and use of pesticides, but no outright ban.
“There is simply not enough evidence that justifies an outright ban on cosmetic-pesticide use,” said Kootenay-East Liberal MLA Bill Bennett.
Instead, the committee’s report recommends banning the sale of commercial-grade pesticides to all but certified applicators and requiring certified dispensers to ensure there is a “strong justification for pesticide use” before selling chemicals to a member of the public.
There are also recommendations for golf courses and better training programs for pesticide sellers.
Cavers said the restrictions aren’t as robust as he’d like, but he conceded they are better than current legislation.
“They do have the capacity to limit what’s available on store shelves, so that’s a positive,” Cavers said.
“But, I don’t think it’s quite strong enough.”
With more direction from the province, Cavers thinks it’s more likely a local ban will find support among his peers at city hall.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone else on council and I don’t want to put words in their mouths, but I would assume so,” he said.
“There did seem to be an appetite for it.”
Cavers said he doesn’t see a need for toxic pesticides when there are organic options available for weed suppression.
He is also concerned about the health effects of pesticides on the elderly, children and animals.
“Especially outside, when the weather’s nice like this, the people that are most vulnerable are those that get the most benefit from being outside,” he said.
“It’s just a protection measure.”
A number of health groups criticized the report from the Special Committee on Pesticides.
The Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Ling Association, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Public Health Association of B.C. has called for stronger legislation banning the sale and use of all pesticides for lawns, gardens and non-agricultural landscaping.