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Councillor Claims Misinformation Regarding By-Law
(Wednesday, June 7/2000)A Halifax Regional Councillor is concerned about what he considers " a considerable amount of misinformation" circulating regarding the municipality's proposed pesticide by-law.
Councillors Graham Read (District 17-Purcell's Cove/Armdale) today took exception to recent full-page advertisements published in both local daily newspapers and other "erroneous" material being distributed throughout the community.
Councillor Read said "Contrary to what these ads and materials would have the public believe, there will not be a complete or total ban on pesticide use. Our proposed by-law will have a phased-in, partial ban on the use of some outdoor landscape pesticides for insect and weed control. Acceptable products will not be banned."
As well, there will be provision in the proposed by-law to allow the use of banned products when they are the only suitable ones available to solve a particular infestation or hazard.
Councillor Read said "It is particularly disappointing that some sectors of the pest control industry are presenting such alarmist misinformation. When the by-law comes into effect, the bugs and weeds will not take over. There are numerous environmentally safe pesticides and techniques available now. These products and methods have been used by a surprising number of people for many years."
The Councillor said the world-famous Halifax Public Gardens is a prime horticultural example of how lawns and gardens can be well-maintained without pesticide use for many years.
He said "Local lawn care companies will not lose business (as a result of the pesticide by-law). They will continue to employ as many, or more people. However, some will have to change the products and techniques that they currently use."
The Councillor charged that the use of synthetic pesticides has not been adequately regulated by senior levels of government. He claimed the level of "acceptable risk" used by Health Canada is no longer adequate and believe that it has become increasingly clear that a lower risk level should be employed and more, up-to-date testing is needed.
Councillor Read said "The serious, long-term environmental effects of the growing, wide-scale use of synthetic pesticides needs to be addressed more thoroughly," he said.
Public hearings on the proposed Pesticide By-Law will resume on June 13th.
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Councillor Graham Read
District 17 (Purcell's Cove/Armdale)