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Pesticide ban sought for parks

A Lumby politician will not be deterred in her fight against cosmetic pesticides.

Council has tabled a decision on possibly banning pesticides in parks, but Coun. Jo Anne Fisher insists there is a need for action to ensure public health.

“I know spraying is a last resort (by village staff) but we need to go one step further and not use them,” she said.

“I’m hearing a groundswell in the community, and particularly from families, that didn’t know we sprayed.”

The issue arose after a presentation from resident Marianne Butler and the Canadian Cancer Society Monday.

“There are chemicals linked to cancer, especially with young children,” said Butler, a mother of three.

“There’s also an environmental impact from spraying pesticides.”

Fisher made a motion calling for a ban on pesticides in parks but there was not a seconder and the motion died on the floor.

A second motion was then made instructing village staff not to use cosmetic pesticides, but the discussion was deferred to another meeting.

Fisher doesn’t believe public concerns about pesticides and health will go away.

“When a representative from the Canadian Cancer Society presents to us, we need to pay attention to that,” she said.

However, others on council defend the move to defer the debate.

“We want to look at what the provincial government has done with the integrated pest management program,” sad Coun. Lori Mindnich.

Butler supports further investigation by council.

“As a member of the village, I’m happy they want to get information before making a snap judgement,” she said.

Mindnich isn’t convinced a complete ban is realistic.

“Staff already works hard not to use them. It’s only in extreme cases where they may be used,” she said.

“If you tie their (staff) hands and they can’t take care of a problem, what do they do? In the school yard, red ants really are not fun.”

Mayor Kevin Acton also agrees that there may be cases where chemical use is necessary.

“None of us want to use pesticides or do anything possibly bad for us, but we don’t want kids crawling on the ground and getting poked by thistles,” he said.

The Vernon School District does not use cosmetic pesticides on school grounds in Lumby.

 

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