Citizens for Alternatives to Roadside Spraying (CARS)
March 26th, 2010 Glengarry ON – With very little fanfare this week, the Counties Council once again approved the spraying of the poison 2,4-D on our roads, with the stated intention of killing noxious weeds, including but not limited to the wild (poison) parsnip. In fact, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment prohibits this under their new Cosmetic use of Pesticide Act. While it allows golf courses an exemption it does not exempt municipal or county roadsides. No, county roads are sprayed only to protect county workers who might be exposed to a health and safety risk, an issue we have heard nothing about.
The Ministry of the Environment states in its brochure entitled “Going Pesticide Free – Finding Healthier Alternatives” the following:
“Using pesticides on our lawns and gardens is unnecessary and harms our environment along with our families and pets. As kids grow, their small bodies can be more sensitive to the effect of pesticides. And because they spend a lot of time playing outdoors, they have greater chance of coming into contact with harmful pesticides. That’s why Ontario has banned the use and sale of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.”
Does it make sense to use public tax dollars to spray the banned herbicide 2,4,-D on the public right of way that often adjoins a private lawn? Do our vulnerable children know where one ends and the other begins?
The Counties Council and staff should be aware that they are circumventing the new Pesticide Act under the spurious claim of protecting their employees, though no evidence of a health and safety issue exists in the documented records, and no mention is made of it in public meetings. County Councilors (the Mayors and Deputy Mayors) should understand that they vote not to spray weeds – they vote for a health and safety action to protect their employees who might stray into roadsides without the appropriate clothes and safety protection.
In our opinion the Counties are at best “bending the law”; at worst they are “misrepresenting themselves to the community”.
How do the Counties place the importance of their employees, who can be appropriately protected, over the decision to “harm our environment along with our family and pets”, not our words but the words of the Ministry? Who is advocating for our Health and Safety?
please visit our sponsors: