2014 Pesticide Ban Failure | Edmonton, Alberta Council | Finally Ignoring Lunatic Anti Pesticide Activists | Elizabeth Beubien

Speakers urge council to ban cosmetic pesticides




EDMONTON – Despite almost a dozen speakers urging councillors Monday to ban cosmetic pesticides, city council decided to continue its current pest management approach.

“The system will go on as is,” Coun. Michael Oshry said following a community services committee meeting.

The city was asked to ban cosmetic pesticides several times the past 20 years, most recently turning down the idea in 2012 over concerns about controlling invasive species, cost and lack of proof about the benefits.

Almost a dozen speakers urged councillors Monday to copy limitations imposed by more than 170 other Canadian municipalities, although none in Alberta.

Speakers argued weed killers and other chemicals are linked to cancer, neurological diseases, birth defects and other ailments, even though they’ve been cleared by Health Canada.

“Real change continues to be hampered by the current city policy … where using herbicides is at the discretion of the parks department,” Elizabeth Beubien said.

“They want to keep these tools in the tool box, but these tools are poisonous to people and the natural environment.”

Edmonton follows integrated pest management by dealing with weeds, insects and other problem species through non-toxic methods such as better turf care and biological control of harmful bugs before applying chemicals.

The city put out 2,461 kilograms of pesticide active ingredients in 2013, down 45 per cent since 2001, a recent report says.

Much of that chemical was used to kill microbes in Hawrelak Lake so the water would be safe for swimming in international triathlon events, although amounts have dropped, the report says.

Weed Man lawn care manager Lori Heidt, the only speaker to oppose banning non-essential pesticides, said practices are always improving through such moves as Alberta’s ban on weed-and-feed chemicals.

“Our city’s policy … is an example of how far we have come,” she said.

“Much of the information you hear today will be opinion based. My hope is you will use factual-based science to make your decisions, which unfortunately we haven’t heard much of this afternoon.”

  • Sheryl McCumsey ·  Top Commenter

    It is incorrect to say this has been"cleared" by Health Canada. Health Canada uses the term, "acceptable risk". It is incorrect to use the term "safe". They do not use this terminology for a reason.


  • Brandie Nadiger-Harrop ·  Top Commenter · Strathcona Composite High School

    When we moved out of the city onto an acreage we loved the frogs and birds and dragonflies and butterflies that were everywhere on our property. So many some days that it seemed magical. What we did not like was all the weeds. It was a hard pill to swallow coming from the city with our pristine lawn to now accept a lawn full of clover, thistle, dandelions, plantain and nettle. We did the only thing we knew how to do, we started spraying. We did an application of 2,4-D every year following the directions on the jug as to how much and when and then spot sprayed with roundup as required. We followed this regime for several years but did not end up with the pristine lawn we thought we would. The ground became hard, dry and dead. The ground was so hard and dead that it would no longer absorb water. When it rained the water would jusSee More


  • Sheryl McCumsey ·  Top Commenter

    87% of Albertans want these by-laws. Grande Prairie and Jasper have made changes as IPM does not address reducing pesticides in regards to cosmetic use. IPM does not address homeowner abuse of pesticides and does not protect children from this as does the 30 metre buffer given to day cares (which is a questionable amount). A child playing in a yard beside a homeowner who is unregulated in the proper use of pesticides can suffer very serious consequences. Many homeowners abuse pesticides. 1/3 of the budget is dedicated to treating the water for the triathlon. A wonderful event but it shows you how we do not truly value our health or the environment. Both 2,4-D and round-up are the most heavily used pesticides in the city. Last fall Health Canada was sued by several groups for their lack of review of 30 pesticides. Industry funds the studies that Health Canada uses. Peer-reviewed studies indicate cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, asthma, birth defects, infertility and much more are associated with these poisons. Pesticides are in the air, soil, water and food we eat.


    • Larry McCumsey · Senior Consultant at CGI's Official Page

      Interesting that Ms. Heidt calls on the City to use 'factual-based science' and implies that others are being less that truthful. She then went on to tell the Council members present that Health Canada is using a third party to assess the pesticides in question. All of the registrations on record at this time are based on research performed by the manufacturers (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/part/protect-proteger/regist-homolog/index-eng.php). So much for fact-based….


      • Norah G Fon


        By NOT imposing a reckless pesticide ban, Edmonton is avoiding placing children at risk ! With pesticide bans, green spaces become pest-infested dangerous garbage dumps. http://wp.me/P1jq40-44g http://wp.me/P1jq40-4z3 http://wp.me/p1jq40-7C4 With pesticide bans, playing surfaces become thin and yellow, and over-run with weeds and infested with insects, resulting in the dismal destruction of safe turf playing surfaces. Pesticide bans cause hazardous slipping and tripping conditions in sports turf, and children become seriously hurt. Pest control products prevent slipping injuries on sports turf. http://wp.me/P1jq40-2ha Children need pest-free sports fields to avoid falling and hurting themselves. It is impossible for home-owners or profSee More

        • Wendy Schroeder ·  Top Commenter

          "Keep children safe" by using chemicals to take out those evil and oh-so-dangerous dandelions? LOL!! You do realize MOWING cuts weeds as well as grass, and green spaces can naturalize with plants that actually block out weeds?

          How amazing human beings are still around after so many centuries of running around on less-than-perfect lawns. Our ancestors must have been more agile than us or something…


        • Randy McCumsey ·  Top Commenter · Fuel Truck Driver at Co-op Fort St John

          The nutbar that started this whole NORAH G thing, Gathercole, is apparently retired and who is running there show for them I do not know, but I found posts similar in tone and ignorance (with the caps too, so they are nothing but consistent) to the ones penned by the phoney NORAH on this thread on other newspaper articles back as early as 2010, and a very interesting profane one posted on a PLCAO forum in which trade associations associated with the lawn care industry are lambasted as being cowardly and inept. So motives here escape me for the moment, seems almost like a cult like following!! predictions of dire doom and gloom and regret for future generations if we do not do something about this eco terrorism are the common thread. Is the lawn care industry suffering due to pesticide prohibition?? I suspect their business, especially with respect to homeowner's lawn will be more dependent on disposable income, but it might also depend on how quick they are on their feet and how innovative they are. If they stay by past ways of doing things, they are doomed, here is one that is thinking outside of the box….http://www.cleanairyardcare.ca/about-us/clean-air-2020/