Winkler Mayor Opposed To Cosmetic Pesticide Ban
Winkler's Mayor is making it quite clear he's opposed to the idea of a cosmetic pesticide ban in our province. Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh has indicated a ban could be in place by early next year.
Martin Harder says if that type of legislation came into effect, it would essentially mean the city has wasted tens of thousands of dollars over the years beautifying the community.
"We spent a million and a half dollars creating a park that is a park of beauty, we spend fifty plus thousands dollars a year beautifying the city throughout with the flowers in the spring. There's hundreds of hours worth of volunteer time that goes into that initiative, and we have a beautiful place," says Harder. "And to see that go to waste, the millions of dollars that will go to waste with this ridiculous ban on chemical use."
Manitoba is one of only four provinces left that has not initiated a ban on cosmetic pesticides. The ban would only apply to lawns and public green spaces, not to farms. Harder notes many of the chemicals used on residential lawns and boulevards are the same as what agricultural operations use, and those have been deemed safe.
Harder has visited communities where bans are in place, and feels they've had a devastating effect.
"It just doesn't look appealing at all," says Harder. "We have a great opportunity for tourism in Manitoba, but if the beauty of our communities is destroyed, the community won't get those tourism dollars either… it's just not right."
Harder feels, if the ban is put in place, it would ultimately mean the tens of thousands of dollars the city has spent over the years beautifying the community would go to waste. Harder has spoken with the local Association of Manitoba Municipalities representative Altona Mayor Melvin Klassen, and he is also strongly opposed to a cosmetic pesticide ban.