Alberni city council nixes pesticide bylaw

Port Alberni city councillors have rescinded the city's pesticide reduction bylaw and will instead follow an annual pest management plan.

Despite its good intentions the city of Port Alberni has rescinded its pesticide reduction bylaw.

The city will instead follow an annual pest management plan with an eye to reducing pesticide use in the city where it can.

The bylaw was approved in 2009, and sought to protect the environment by restricting the non-essential use of pesticides.

City staff implemented a series of holistic measures as part of their pest management control regime with limited success, Parks and Recreation manager Scott Kenny said.

Manual cultivation was attempted but was found to be too labour intensive, particularly in times of reduced staffing, Kenny said.

Staff also attempted hard surface area burning at baseball fields in 2010. The method succeeded only in burning the tops of weeds but didn’t impact the root area.

Applications of a vinegar solution was tried next but again didn’t impact the plants’ roots. The method was only effective in controlling small weeds and soft plants.

Bark mulching of shrub beds was used with moderate success. The method chokes down weeds while keeping soil moist and cooling roots.

Kenny pointed out the product Fiesta to illustrate how much a holistic measure costs. The city would have to spend $32,000 to apply four applications of it on city playing fields per year. In comparison, one application of Killex would cost $1,600 to apply and would last four years.

The bylaw was also cumbersome and nearly impossible to enforce, Kenny said.

The city is taking its cue from the provincial Report of the Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides in rescinding its bylaw.

The committee researched the issue by examining regulatory framework, heard from more than 8,600 participants and looked at bans in other cities.

“…despite the intensity of the arguments in favour of the ban on cosmetic use of pesticides…..there is insufficient scientific evidence to support a province-wide ban on pesticides for cosmetic use,” an excerpt from the report notes.

“The majority of the committee supports using science based evidence and will not restrict access to products that are approved for safe use in Canada.”

Just Posted

Fun had by all at the Rock and Gem Show

Alberni Valley Rock and Gem Club hosts largest event so far

Huu-ay-aht mother reunited with newborn daughter after court case

Mother and child will reside in Port Alberni with supervision and support

Young Nuu-chah-nulth boy remembered by his big, beautiful smile

A six-year-old boy died in a Port Alberni home on March 13

Gord Johns calls on Liberal government to act on unfair newsprint tariffs

U.S. anti-dumping tariff could have “devastating impact” on Island communities

Port Alberni council endorses climate, food security measures

Pared-down list includes market-garden, home conversion incentives

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

B.C.-based CEO charged with conspiring to sell unhackable phones to criminals

Vincent Ramos of Richmond, was arrested last week in Seattle in years-long undercover operation

Saanich resident facing numerous charges in north Courtenay shooting incident

Richard Daniel Vigneault, a 27-year-old Saanich resident is facing numerous charges in… Continue reading

Most Read