Anti-pesticide bylaw stalled
Councillor questions why parks exempt
More than a year and a half in the making, Oak Bay’s proposed pesticide ban hit another procedural bump in the road this week.
Introduced by Coun. Tara Ney in the spring of 2009, a new municipal bylaw restricting the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes was set to receive second and third reading at Oak Bay council on Monday. But Ney threw up a red flag, noting that wording in the new bylaw exempts Oak Bay parks from the process.
“People don’t want toxins in their parks,” she said.
Ney referred to an e-mail from Saanich resident Jim McIsaac that pointed out Oak Bay’s proposed bylaw veers from the Capital Regional District’s suggested wording being used by many Greater Victoria municipalities.
Over the past three years, Victoria, Esquimalt and Saanich have passed bylaws restricting pesticide use on municipal and private properties.
Oak Bay parks staff have said that toxic chemicals are rarely used on municipal properties. A vinegar preparation is used on gutter weeds along sidewalks, and a soap/water mixture is used on insect infestations. Fungicides are used selectively on Henderson golf course.
Coun. Hazel Braithwaite is council’s parks and recreation commission representative.
She suggested, somewhat testily, that if Ney “had so many questions” she could have attended commission meetings this year.
“The question is simple,” Ney said.
“I didn’t find what you said is simple,” Braithwaite shot back.
Coun. John Herbert ended the exchange by suggesting the bylaw be tabled at second reading and that parks director Lorne Middleton be invited to council in the new year to explain why Oak Bay parks should be exempted from restricting pesticide use. Council agreed to his suggestion.
Jim McIsaac –Environmental Advocate with T Buck Suzuki Foundation
is a father, a fishermen, a philosopher, an environmentalist and a realist. Overall he’s a solutions person, always strategizing and looking for the next step. His major concern is pollution and the next generations, we are killing the planet and need to leave it healthy for our children; “If we wait for all the studies to come in before we act there will be nothing left.” As an environmentalist Jim was tasked with tackling the impasse over Victoria’s lack of sewage treatment. Jim has been working closely with Stephen Salter to promote integrated resource recovery as a cornerstone for sewage treatment in the region.
Keeping our water clean
Working for change
Reusing our waste
Fitting everything in