By Gwydion Morris
Sept. 12, 2014
If Charlottetown decides to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides, it could start a chain reaction resulting in an Island-wide ban, says a former UPEI biologist.
If enough Island municipalities follow Charlottetown’s lead in seeking the power to ban pesticides, the provincial government may see the light and implement an Island wide ban, said Roger Gordon, a member of Pesticide Free P.E.I.
“This is a good step in the right direction.”
But Gordon is skeptical about the municipal government’s sudden interest in banning pesticides with an election coming up. He wonders where this interest was at the start of the summer, when Pesticide Free P.E.I. was hosting a forum on the dangers of cosmetic pesticides.
“Have they just had en epiphany all of a sudden?” Gordon said. “I wish I had more faith in them following through.”
The pesticide which is legal to use on P.E.I., Sevin, is incredibly harmful, said Gordon. The chemicals in it have been linked to leukemia, Hodgkin Lymphoma and skin cancer.
With P.E.I.’s already high cancer rate from pesticides used in farming, more steps should be taken to bring that rate down, Gordon said.
“Anything we can do to cut cancer, we should do.”
Philip Brown, a candidate in the upcoming mayoral election in Charlottetown, is campaigning to have pesticides banned.
In a news conference on Sept. 19 in his campaign headquarters, Brown said he would push to have all the currently approved pesticides banned and have them replaced with all organic options.
Municipalities should be given the legislative power to control their own pesticides, not the province, Brown said.
“I want to take control of that issue.”
Stratford and Cornwall should be working together on this issue, as there are 50,000 residents between the three municipalities, Brown said. And having a pesticide ban over that many residences would be a great step.
“Let’s work together on this matter.”