Steinbach Weed Control Costs To Rise Tenfold
Written by Daryl Braun on Tuesday, 05 August 2014
The City of Steinbach is facing a huge increase in the cost of weed control due to the province's pesticide ban that takes effect next year. Deputy Mayor Michael Zwaagstra says city staff have done some estimates on the cost of using alternative products.
"The pesticide ban that the province is imposing upon us will have a substantial impact on our bottom line. Currently, we spend approximately $16,000.00 a year on our weed control throughout the city. In order to follow this ban, and using alternative products recommended by the province, we could be spending upwards of $200,000.00 per year. That's well over ten times the cost of what we currently do. That is going to have a huge impact on Steinbach and ratepayers here."
Councillor Jac Siemens says it's a letdown that the province didn't listen to the concerns expressed by municipalities like Steinbach as well as the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.
"City staff and council don't agree with it and we have let the province know our position. It is a little disappointing that we're not being heard as a council or as municipalities across the province."
Mayor Chris Goertzen is equally disappointed.
"To hear that it could cost us up to $200,000.00 extra every year because of the pesticide ban, that's really concerning for council. We think it's unacceptable. We do want to find other alternatives to possibly using these $200,000.00 methods. We'll see where that ends up."
Zwaagstra adds it's very frustrating because the Manitoba government's decision to ban pesticides is not based on science.
"This is a ban that is more about optics than science. The reality is that the pesticides that we use, and that other cities use, are approved by Health Canada. These are carefully tested products that people have used for many years. They are evaluated by scientists working for Health Canada. When used properly, these are safe pesticides to use. So the fact that the province is banning them is not going to improve the health of communities. Rather, it's just going to simply result in communities not looking as good as they did before."