Ban on cosmetic pesticides

"They are harmful to the environment, people and beneficial insects" and one local group wants the city to stop using them.

The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) is pressing the city for a complete ban on cosmetic pesticide use.

Keli Westgate said the proposed ban would be for all city-owned properties and parks.

“Schools already have a ban in place which is great. This just expands that in order to protect people's health,” said Westgate, who was a Green Party candidate for the region in the last provincial election.

“It's going to be up to the city as to how extensive they want to make it.”

Westgate said the proposed ban is for cosmetic applications only and will not affect agricultural operations.

Westgate said not liking dandelions “is not a good enough argument for polluting the waterways, polluting the ground and potentially affecting people's health.

“We do have already 40 municipalities in B.C. with a cosmetic pesticide ban.”

Revelstoke, Kelowna, Golden and many communities in the Lower Mainland have already moved to ban cosmetic pesticides.

“Fifty per cent of cancers can be prevented and this is one of the ways we can prevent it. It's like quitting smoking,” she said.

Less pesticide use will also help save insects that are beneficial to humanity, such as honey bees which have seen their numbers drop dramatically over the past few years.

“Dandelions, for example, are essential. Those are the first food bees go to in the spring,” she said.

Westgate is encouraging people to contact members of city council and show their support for the ban.

SENS will be in council chambers in April to make their case for the ban.

“I have spoken with the city and they have already received a lot of letters in support of this so I am very happy to hear that.”

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