David Rawnsley and CARS Blow a Flat Tire on United Counties of SD&G Roadside Spraying – March 22, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Mayor Byvelds

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


No Progress


Bait and Switch


Please vote in our poll on Roadside Spraying.

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Mayor Jim McDonnel




Mowers and Equipment


Counties Engineer


Farmer’s for Roadside Spraying


It Comes Down to Dollars


Mayor Byvelds


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.

Gault Family Chiropractic Best Western Cornwall KAV Productions




  1. Thank you Mr. Rawnsley for your presentation to Council on our (the citizens) behalf. I support you 100%. The argument from the County Engineer doesn’t wash with me. Whether I spray my lawn or not has no bearing on the weekly mowing required…so I disagree that not spraying would increase mowing costs. Shame on Council for allowing the continuance of poisons flowing into our environment.

  2. The residual effect of spraying is incalcuable. This unnecessary process appears to be ineffective. It has not been proven that the Wild Parsnip is a major hazard to the Flora, Fauna and the Human Population. It appears that the case for spraying is perhaps cosmetic. This is also questionable.

    Remember Agent Orange, it is still in doing its dirty work!

    Thanks Mr. Rawnsley for presenting the case against roadside spraying.

  3. I stongly believe that mechanical control of weeds is the best alternative. Creating jobs in these hard times + reducing the spread of harmfull chemicals (which eventually end up in the residents blood stream). Please do not spray our road sides,
    Thank you, yours truly, Mr Janos Helle

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