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Park Advisory Committee Calls for Information Sessions
(Wednesday, June 14/2000)-- The Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee has asked the Task Force dealing with the infestation of the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle to ensure that residents of the Halifax Region are properly informed about the strategy to eradicate the pest before any action is taken.
Jim Murphy, chair of the Committee, made the request today in light of the number of public inquiries and citizen comments recently about the proposed action plan to initially control, and eventually eradicate, the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle infestation at Point Pleasant Park.
Mr. Murphy suggests that the Task Force organize an "open house" information session soon at a location near Point Pleasant Park to ensure that park neighbours, friends of the park and the public in general will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with scientific and technical experts to learn more about the steps required to eradicate the beetle.
"As a suggestion, the hours of the Open House should extend past the normal workday hours, to allow interested individuals to ask questions after work, for example from 1 p.m. to six p.m.," he said in a letter to Jarvis Mawhinney, chair of the Task Force.
In addition, Mr. Murphy suggests that the federal/provincial/municipal Task Force prepare and distribute "Question and Answer" sheets to the public, outlining general questions that residents may have about the strategy, such as: "Why cut the trees now and not later when the beetle is dormant?" or "Why are trees in the Park marked with various colours?"
He said this method has been used effectively in the past by the Park Advisory Committee and has provided a great deal of information in a short time to a large number of residents.
Mr. Murphy said there has been a lot of comment by various members of the public, including the local scientific community , reported in the media in recent days and he urged these individuals to contact the Task Force with their views and comments as soon as possible.
"We are overwhelmed by the public interest in this issue and we encourage citizens to pass along their comments to the Task Force directly. These citizens may know something that the Task Force doesn't, or they may come up with something that no one has considered before. Every angle is important to us, " he said.
The toll free number for the Task Force is 1-877-868-0662.
Chair, Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee
Corporate Communications Officer