– News – Vigorous public debate over railway pesticide use

Councillor Vicki Beard wants the railway to use the Alternative Herbicides on the Market to combat weeds on Railway Lines.

She doesn’t realize that one reason the railway has not adopted alternatives [which does not mean safer or better for the environment] is because they are not effective.

Just as ineffective as her campaign to waste taxpayers dollars protecting them from a non concern [promoting fear mongering]

Health Canada has already considered the safety of Herbicides and has taken steps to mitigate any harm.

You would think a town that is within minutes of Guelph University and Ridgetown College (full of pesticide scientists) would be a little smarter when it comes to the concerns and effects of these products.

Going from 2 spray applications per year with RoundUp to 7 alternative product spray applications per year will really get the residents going.

The Railway will be posting Pesticide Spraying  Signs every 3 weeks for an Alternative product like Soaps of Fatty Acids or Vinegar, as opposed to Sign Posting 2 times for a now Banned product like RoundUp

Its the sign posting that scares these residents

If the concerned residents took the time to research instead of gossiping they would be much happier with the RoundUp Applications twice a year.


GUELPH — Clearly-irked residents seeking a pesticide ban railed against the municipally-owned Guelph Junction Railway at a boisterous Ward 2 meeting Monday evening, hosted by councillors Vicki Beard and Ian Findlay.

Some were particularly incensed at what they see as a railway board slow to respond to complaints recently requesting, through Beard, more residents to pass their concerns along in writing.

Resident Norman Liota said he sent his complaints along two weeks ago and has yet to hear back from the railway board. Now, it’s asking for more input?

“I don’t get it. The board may or may not pay attention,” Liota said.

Beard responded: “I think they’ll pay attention.”

Findlay noted the railway, which operates at arm’s-length to Guelph City Hall, has directed a governance committee to study issues like future maintenance of the rail line through Guelph, some of it along a new trail city council has approved and for which work has begun. The committee is also to propose options. When the city banned pesticides years ago, it allowed the railway to continue using the chemicals to keep tracks free of weeds and reduce the risk of fires.

But Beard made it clear she wants ultimately for environmentally-friendly alternatives to replace pesticides.

“I’m trying to get rid of the spraying all together,” the councillor stressed.

At the meeting of almost 40 people in the Evergreen Seniors Centre, residents urged restricting pesticide use because homes and yards where children play are so close to rail lines and the trail. They said it’s a citywide issue, and not restricted to their north-east ward.

“Proximity to residential areas is my central concern,” said resident Joel Wright, the father of two young boys. “You like to have a healthy community.”

Resident Ruth Dolby said, however, she isn’t troubled by the common pesticide used to control weeds.

But another resident, John Ryan, wondered whether citizens are helpless in their fight against spraying. “We have no way of stopping that at this point?” he asked.

“You just tell them they can’t do it,” resident Ben Barclay urged councillors, who responded they can’t, even as city representatives, individually dictate railway policy by themselves.

Findlay said the railway board’s governance committee may need months to assess the situation. “It’s not something they do overnight.”

But Findlay added council may ultimately decide itself that it’s wise to reform the pesticide bylaw to include a railway spraying ban.

“Now we can probably tie up those loose ends,” Findlay said.

Beard said on a positive note, there’s a lull in pesticide use as the issue is considered, since the railway is done spraying for the year. – News – Vigorous public debate over railway pesticide use.


It seems the railway was applying pesticides safely – LettertotheEditor – It seems the railway was applying pesticides safely


In response to the recent coverage about a pesticide ban being called for on Guelph railway tracks, let me get this straight. The Guelph Junction Railway is spraying pesticides along its own tracks in Guelph in compliance with federal safety regulations. Lynn Chidwick is concerned about the impact of pesticides on people living in the area and children playing next to the tracks.

The solution is simple. Stop going on the railway tracks. And why are children being allowed to play next to the tracks? In my days of raising children we told them not to go near the tracks.

Before I am accused of being pro-pesticide, let me assure that pesticides have never been my first course of action — but, if needed, I have used them in the past. I am not afraid of pesticides. I understand the scientific research that has gone into ensuring the chemicals on the market today are safe, provided one uses them as directed. I suspect, from the description, that Guelph Junction Railway used glyphosate, which is one of the safest vegetation control products on the market and is still available today for use on ragweed and other noxious weeds.

As for concerns about a lack of signage, I hope the the railway will address that because it is part of the requirements for spraying. However, there’s always the possibility that someone removed the signs.

Sandra Solomon

Puslinch – LettertotheEditor – It seems the railway was applying pesticides safely.