Corner Brook Western Star
Ban on use of cosmetic pesticides welcomed
by Diane Crocker
CORNER BROOK — Kelly George is hoping people will see the province’s plan to implement a ban on the use of cosmetic pesticides as significant, and stop the pesticide practice now.
The ban was announced Thursday by Environment Minister Ross Wiseman, and will take effect in the 2012 lawn care season.
But George, a concerned resident of Corner Brook who has publicly expressed her views on pesticide use, is fearful people will continue using pesticides for the rest of this summer.
She said it’s hard to say what people will now do, but it’s time to stop pretending it’s not an issue.
“This is real — the health effects are real,” she said. “The environmental effects are real.”
George said she was “absolutely over the moon happy” to hear of the ban. She said her family has talked about how harmful pesticide use is for years and wished it would be banned. This summer, however, it’s affected her personally.
George said a lot of people in her mother’s neighbourhood have sprayed their lawns with cosmetic pesticides. Because of the high usage her doctor has advised her to stay away.
“We’re just really happy that it doesn’t have to be something that we’re going to have to worry about now in years to come.”
Meanwhile, members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition on Pesticides are pleased with the ban, but question the delay in implementing it.
Stephenville resident Bob Diamond has been active in the fight for more than 12 years.
“We’ve been far too long before we got this announcement,” he said Thursday afternoon. “There’s still not a ban until next year and we certainly want to see what kind of a ban.”
Diamond said he would like to see a ban with legislation similar to Ontario “which is pretty comprehensive,” and not like New Brunswick which is “on the weaker end of the scale.
“It will be nice to see what the actual legislation is gonna be.”
But at the same time he questioned what will happen if the Conservatives lose this October’s provincial election.
Speaking personally, Diamond said this is only a start of what can be done to eliminate toxic chemicals in the environment.
“It’s nice to see it looks like some progress is being made, but we’ve got a long way to go before our human health and environment is protected in this province.”
Diamond said there are other issues in terms of using similar types of products for spraying forests and along highways.
Coalition member Sarah (Sadie) Dredge, of Corner Brook, also wondered if the ban was a promise that won’t be kept.
Dredge said while she was glad to hear the province was implementing the ban, she wasn’t glad to hear it’s not going to happen until next year.
“I don’t understand why we’re waiting till next year,” she said. “... “We’ve got to do something now. Why can’t we be like Ontario?”
That province she said has “gone the whole way” with it’s ban on pesticides and urban areas have already seen results that it is working.
Aaron and Kelly George are seen with their children, two-year-old Oscar and four-year-old Molly.