he City of Vernon will be once again embarking on its cosmetic pesticide application program for sidewalks, property edges and alleys.

Their justification for using chemicals is because these weeds, “damage infrastructure,” and are a, “hazard to pedestrians and cyclists.”

This is almost laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

Saying that weeds are a hazard is industry propaganda, much the same as the tripping on a weed myth these corporate mega giants spout to push their product.

If weeds do this damage to infrastructure, what about the damage done by tree roots? Do we remove trees?

So we spend the money year after year spraying the returning weeds that are a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists but there’s still no safe way to bicycle somewhere basic like our farmers market. There’s a reason why you seldom see any bicycles there.

Come on Vernon council, you can do better than this.

There is now overwhelming evidence that pesticides are toxic to humans and are harmful to our environment. They are carcinogenic and act for generations as endocrine disruptors. They pollute our soil, air, and water. They are long lasting and they make us sick.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, there are outright bans on cosmetic pesticides in seven provinces and in more than 40 municipalities in B.C., including Vancouver and Victoria.

When our now teenaged children were babies, there was a group of more than 200 parents who petitioned the city to stop pesticide use for non-essential purposes on places where children play. This is far from being a new issue as at least one sitting councillor, who was a school trustee, will remember.

Our school district has agreed to a ban. Sadly, no member of city council has had the courage to date to champion a ban in this last decade and a half but it’s not too late.

As concerned parents, we are once again requesting an immediate moratorium on non-essential pesticide use in the City of Vernon, especially with the crack and crevice program where there is no signage.

We don’t need to be wasting our tax dollars on non-essential spraying year after year. We want our neighbourhoods to be safe for our children, grandchildren and pets who are most at risk for pesticide exposure.

Please do the right thing for future generations.

Many are not aware that a no-spraying list exists if you don’t want pesticides applied around your property.

Contact the City of Vernon if you wish to be on this list.

Kerry Carlson