By Gary McKenna – The Tri-City News
Published: March 23, 2012 2:00 AM
Chemical fungicides will continue to be allowed at the Centennial Rose Garden, after Coquitlam council voted in favour of an exemption to its proposed pesticide ban.
Last week Bev Welsh, president of the Fraser Pacific Rose Society, told council that in-season chemicals should be permitted, at least until the garden could transition to hardier, disease resistant plants.
On Monday, council agreed, voting unanimously in favour of an exemption for the garden being included in the pesticide bylaw, which has yet to receive final reading.
The volunteer-run Centennial Garden has been a fixture at the Dogwood Pavilion for 21 years and Welsh said it has become a tourist attraction and wedding venue with over 800 plants from 60 varieties of roses.
She added that in the coming years the garden would be transitioning to more hybridized rose that would not require chemical fungicides.
Municipalities across the country have banned pesticide use, including nearly 40 in B.C. such as Port Moody (in 2003), Port Coquitlam (2011), Burnaby (2008), New Westminster (2009) and Pitt Meadows (2011). Cities do not have the power to prohibit the sale of pesticides in retail stores.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, scientific research shows people exposed to pesticides are at greater risk for cancer, reproductive problems and neurological illness.
-with files from Janis Warren