Cavers’ pesticide ban doesn’t flourish at council
Dandelions are still on notice in the city of Kamloops after a resolution that would have banned the use of cosmetic pesticides on lawns failed to find enough support from city council.
Coun. Donovan Cavers’ motion had originally called for a ban on all cosmetic-pesticide use in the city — but was toned down in hopes of finding more support.
Cavers told council pesticides pose health risks and the city should be taking precautionary measures.
“No one should ever have to worry about their children playing in the grass, plain and simple,” he said.
While councillors Arjun Singh and Nancy Bepple said they were also concerned about the health consequences of pesticides, many other councillors said a ban would be difficult to enforce and could result in pesticides being applied covertly by people without proper training.
“If you take away people’s options to reasonably treat their yards, they will still treat their yards,” said Mayor Peter Milobar, pointing out pesticides would still be available in the city as council doesn’t have the power to ban their sale.
Milobar said pesticide use is becoming less popular in the city anyway — he estimated about 70 per cent of residents avoid it — due to current restrictions on its use already in place in Kamloops.
“Which lawns are my kids running on? The amount of usage in this city because of what we’ve done has plummeted.”
Coun. Pat Wallace said she thought the ban would unfairly penalize people with lawn-care businesses and hurt the city’s chances in Communities in Bloom competitions.
“To tell someone that’s going to spray lawns for a living and they’ve got to use only natural stuff, they’ll be out of businesses for sure,” she said.
Coun. Nelly Dever called the proposed ban ignorant, saying it doesn’t give residents enough credit.
“Basically, we’re assuming that residential owners do not know how to read a label and follow the directions on the label and bring in a licensed applicator,” she said.
“I think that’s rather a horrible assumption to make and an ignorant assumption to make.”
Coun. Tina Lange said pesticides aren’t necessary to have a nice-looking lawn and that’s reason enough to ban them.
“Hello people, we are talking about cosmetic pesticide use on lawns. I defy anybody to say to me, ‘I think it’s OK for people to put poison on their lawns to get rid of dandelions’,” she said.
“Dandelions, broadleaf, clover, whatever, do not affect your health . . . Why wouldn’t we take one more bad thing out of this community?”
The motion failed five to four, with Milobar and councillors Ken Christian, Marg Spina, Wallace and Dever voting against it.