Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)Published on September 10, 2014Share 10
Editor: The letter from David Steeves in your Sept. 6 edition (“Stay on local issues to become effective”) regarding Tyler Murnaghan and his support for a ban on the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides was well off the mark.
The writer maintains that, as a candidate for municipal office, Mr. Murnaghan can’t deliver on such a commitment because “it’s controlled by provincial legislation.” What Mr. Steeves ignores, however, is that municipalities can certainly press the provincial government to change the Municipalities Act to provide the municipalities with the right to ban cosmetic lawn pesticides if they should chose to do so. This is the situation in most other Canadian provinces and it’s difficult to understand why it should not be the case here in Prince Edward Island, too.
In fact, we’re led to believe the Federation of Prince Edward Island Municipalities is currently in discussions with the provincial government regarding changes to the Municipalities Act. Such changes, if agreed to, could — among other things — provide municipalities with the right to ban cosmetic lawn pesticides.
The municipal elections slated for November will allow many Islanders to send a message to both municipal and provincial elected officials regarding pesticides. Already, many candidates for mayor and council in a number of municipalities — not just Mr. Murnaghan — have indicated that they support a ban on cosmetic lawn pesticides. If elected, they’ve indicated they will take whatever steps are necessary (including lobby the provincial government) to implement such a ban.
For our part, Pesticide Free P.E.I. intends to survey candidates for municipal office regarding their position on pesticides and to then share that information with the voting public. The voters will then have the ability to tell Mr. Murnaghan and other candidates whether they consider the spraying of toxins within municipal boundaries a local issue and what they want their elected municipal officials to do about that.
Maureen Kerr, Interim Chair,
Pesticide Free P.E.I.