Cornwall ON – I don’t get to many United Counties of SD&G meetings, but I should. Monday’s meeting featured a presentation by David Rawnsley of Citizens Against Roadside Spraying.
There was actually a nice sized crowd to support Mr. Rawnsley and his position that the Counties could save $55,000 on spraying and that they are spraying simply to save dollars instead of mowing.
Mr. Rawnsley and his group have a powerful ally in MPP Jim Brownell and many areas including the City of Cornwall have dramatically reduced or eliminated spraying especially in light of the devastation to the Bee Populations world wide and in this area too. One local Bee Keeper recently reported that half of his bees didn’t make it through the winter.
Mr. Rawnsley outlined the following:
United Counties state that Health of the Citizens is their highest priority but they ignore the advice of:
- the Canadian Medical Association
- the Cornwall Academy of Medicine
- the Registered Nurses of Ontario
- the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
United Counties claim that Turboprop kills wild parsnip and that is why they use it but:
- wild parsnip is not listed on the Turboprop label approved under the Pest Control Products Act (reg.# 27967)
- SLRIES states in its study of the “efficacy” of the Counties spraying program that there is “no significant differences in either % cover by wild parsnip or the number of stems of wild parsnip between sprayed and unsprayed plots.
United Counties say that they only spray those areas with a high density of wild parsnip but:
- seven out of eight plots in the SLRIES study, chosen at random, had less that 5% coverage of wild parsnip
- Counties presentation to the Municipalities states that “they do not have enough manpower to manage weeds” using only mowing – they must spray 2/3rds of road system each year
United Counties imply that spraying is a cheaper mechanism to manage weeds but:
- all areas sprayed are subsequently mowed
- mowing costs are fixed as they relate to equipment depreciation, leasing costs for equipment and manpower to operate the equipment
- spraying costs are additional costs as they are paid to an external exterminator
United Counties emphasize that they only use herbicides as a “last resort” but:
- no evidence has ever been presented that it has tried a “flexible” mowing strategy
- no evidence that it has investigated non-toxic products
- no evidence that it has investigated a biological solution such as planting beneficial plants to compete with wild parsnip (and other weeds)
- no attempts to engage external resources to develop an “integrated vegetation management” plan
Bill 157, An Act to Amend the Pesticide Act, proposed by Jim Brownell MPP, will close the loopholes that the United Counties have used to conduct their spraying program.
Here are some of our video clips from the session and of course to see all of our videos please visit our You Tube Channel.
Roadside Spraying History
Bait and Switch
Please vote in our poll on Roadside Spraying.
Mayor Jim McDonnel
Mowers and Equipment
Farmer’s for Roadside Spraying
It Comes Down to Dollars
David Rawnsley After the Presentation
Mr. Rawnsley will be joining us on The Political Round Table on Seawayradio.com this morning after 9:00 AM to talk about the subject a bit more. We sent out an email to all of the SD&G County Mayors and Deputy Mayors inviting them to either add a quote to this story or appear on the show this morning. As of 7:25 AM none have replied.
You can post your comments below, and we’ll be updating this story if any late comments come in from the Counties Council.