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RM Puts An End To Weed Control

Written by Brenden Harris on Thursday, 29 January 2015

A ban on the use of chemical pesticides near hospitals, sidewalks, schools and daycares has one rural municipality fuming. The RM of Macdonald is looking at the possibility at putting an end to their already minimal weed control program, following the passage of the provincial legislation. Reeve Brad Erb says continuing the program under the new regulations just isn't feasible due to the cost of the approved bio-pesticides.

"We had a very minimal program in terms of dandelion and weed control in our urban centres, but we did have one. Our costs for product last year were roughly $1,240, give or take a few bucks. The program this year, if we wanted to have the same impact in terms of weed control, was going to be in excess of $100,000. That led us to the conclusion that we're going to have to kill the program."

Erb says the measures are unnecessary, citing the regulations already in place for chemical pesticide application companies.

"We oppose the ban. We believe that there's regulations and safety through the industry, and these chemicals are safe if used properly. We use them in a very minimal amount and we treat them with great respect. We don't want to interfere with the lives of kids playing, so we're very cautious."

He says council's hoping to contact the provincial government to express their displeasure.

"That one tool that we use in rare occasions is being taken away from us. We're opposed to it and we'll likely voice our concerns once again to the provincial government on that,"

The province introduced the legislation to address concerns over health issues related to the use of pesticides. The ban on chemical based pesticides will not impact industry such as forestry or agriculture, and there are also exemptions for golf courses and cases were noxious weeds, invasive species need to be addressed.

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