BCLocalNews.com – Bylaw gets Wilson treatment

Published: July 29, 2010 7:00 PM

Updated: July 29, 2010 7:38 PM

Pesticide bylaw put aside for more study

The Town of Qualicum Beach made a strategic withdrawal on its push to enact a bylaw outlawing the use of cosmetic pesticides in the community, but that likely won’t slow down the initiative in the long run.

Speaking at a special council meeting Wednesday, Coun. Jack Wilson urged his colleagues to defer third reading of the bylaw until a full and detailed list can be made to show what products would be taken off the shelves and what would stay on.

As well, Wilson called for a full accounting of any extra costs associated with the town keeping a “Communities in Bloom” standard of floral excellence while banning the use of many pesticide products.

Wilson, an avid gardener, found himself getting welcome — though likely short-term — support from enough of his fellow councillors to put the brakes on third reading for now.

Mayor Teunis Westbroek spoke in favour of Wilson’s motion, noting it makes sense to have a clear understanding of the implications of such a move.

Coun. Kent Becker also spoke in favour, despite a vehement statement against the use of the toxic products.

“You just have to read the labels,” he said. “If it says not to walk on your grass once you’ve used it, why would you want it on there? It all ends up somewhere and that’s usually in the water.”

With that said, Becker agreed it would be advantageous to get more information on the issue and deal with it at the August council meeting.

Wilson wasn’t done though. He expressed frustration at the proposed bylaw, arguing it shows disrespect for the people of Qualicum Beach.

“It shows you don’t trust the residents to know enough to do the right thing with pesticides and use them responsibly,” he said.

A staff report to council noted the Select Committee on the Environment met to discuss the bylaw and recommended amending the bylaw to remove exemptions for the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club, the Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club and Semiahmoo Golf Centre.

This came up at Wednesday’s meeting, when one resident said it wasn’t right to exempt these big players from the cosmetic pesticide ban.

“If it’s good for one, it should be good for everybody,” he said. “This is just not right.”

Council will consider the matter again on Monday, August 9.

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