Cost of weed control in Steinbach has risen from $15K to $237K, Dobrowolski says

Cost of weed control in Steinbach has risen from $15K to $237K, Dobrowolski says

Posted:Jun 11, 2015 12:35 PM CT

Last Updated:Jun 11, 2015 12:35 PM CT

The white puff balls of seeding dandelions are littered along Manitoba boulevards and medians and they are a problem for allergy sufferers, Dobrowolski says.

The white puff balls of seeding dandelions are littered along Manitoba boulevards and medians and they are a problem for allergy sufferers, Dobrowolski says.

Winnipeg is not the only community in the province where dandelion flowers are flourishing after the provincial government put the kibosh on the use of cosmetic pesticides.

“We’re seeing the same thing in all of our communities right across the province and that’s why AMM wants to see a change to this pesticide ban,” said Doug Dobrowolski, president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities.

It’s not just dandelions, it is all kinds of weeds, Dobrowolski said, and they’re taking over Manitoba’s towns. Dobrowolski insists flexibility in the province’s legislation is key.

“We’re urging the province to exempt boulevards, ditches and medians from this regulation because no kids play there and obviously we’re talking about safety here,” Dobrowolski said.

Since there are rules in place that restrict pesticide use near waterways, Dobrowolski thinks using pesticides isn’t a serious risk of contamination. He said common sense must be used.

Dobrowolski uses Steinbach as an example, saying that the town previously spent $15,000 annually on pesticides but under the new regulations, it costs the community $237,000 to keep weeds under control because new products are much less effective and need to be applied more frequently.

The province is overstepping its bounds by banning cosmetic pesticides, since federal agencies continue to allow their use, Dobrowolski said.

In addition to being a cosmetic concern, Dobrowolski told CBC that it is also a health concern for people that suffer from allergies.

“We want a community that looks attractive, to attract people to our communities,” he said

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