Pros oppose pesticide ban call

Environmental group seeks cosmetic pesticide ban in City of Vernon

North Okanagan lawn care professionals are speaking up against a proposed call for a pesticide ban in the City of Vernon.

Joel Campbell, owner/operator of Green Velvet Lawns Ltd., and Henry Van Der Molen, president of Supergreen Lawn and Tree Care spoke at council in regards to a proposed ban of pesticides asked for by the Sustainable Environmental Network Society (SENS).

“Green Velvet’s goal is to always deal with pest problems in a safe and effective way, with pesticides used only when required,” said Campbell, in business for more than 30 years. “Whether we use physical control, cultural control or pesticides, a process of integrated pest management is used in making the decision in which route of action would be required.”

Campbell said industries that use pesticides are strictly regulated, both provincially and federally, and those regulations are some of the strictest in the world.

“The residential use of pesticides has to follow more regulations in regards to approved products allowed for use in comparison to other standards,” said Campbell, adding residential use accounts for only three per cent of pesticides used in Canada.”

All the products Campbell uses in his business go through extensive testing and are approved by Health Canada to ensure they’re safe to use around adults, children and pets.

Van Der Molen referred to pesticides as a “tool” of his trade, used to acquire a desired result.

“Some tools require a form of safety gear and might require some kind of access restrictions in order to create awareness to the public,” said Van Der Molen. “Others may require less gear and notice. The requirements for the tools we use are already in place.

“If and when a better tool to do the same job becomes available, you bet I’ll be there to put it in my tool kit and retire the old one.”

Sites where posting pesticide use is required are mandated and regulated by the provincial Ministry of Environment.

SENS presented a large petition to have cosmetic pesticides banned to Vernon council in November 2017

Other communities with this ban include Coldstream, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, Lumby, Kelowna, 40 cities in B.C. and eight provinces.

Council received the presentation from the two professionals for information. It will be discussed at an upcoming meeting.

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