LETTERS: Views vary on everything from pesticides to Caribou cull

Writer appreciates Port Alberni council's consideration of pesticide ban.

Pesticide ban a must for city

 

To the Editor,

I was happy to read in your paper that the city is considering banning the use of pesticides. I sincerely hope that they come to the conclusion that they are not only unnecessary, but also harmful to the environment.

This includes wildlife, pets, livestock and us. We are all part of an enormous food chain which, when linked with pesticides, is in jeopardy. When chemical bug killers are sprayed in public spaces the poisoned insects are ingested by birds and other insects who in turn are consumed by larger animals including us.

When it rains, water runoff moves the poisoning potential downstream to water fowl, fish and sea mammals. Children playing in pesticide laden areas are the most likely of humans to be affected. More than half of the cases of pesticide poisoning in Canada were kids.

There is evidence that pesticides are connected to Colony Collapse Disorder which killed millions of honey bees. Pesticides are also responsible for killing other pollinating insects and beneficial predator insects since pesticides can’t differentiate between good and bad bugs.

In a world where we rely heavily on insects to pollinate our food crops, this is a serious issue to say the least. Common locally grown fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, onions, beans, carrots, apples, blueberries and strawberries need insects to pollinate them.

I understand that Mayor Ruttan is putting food security on the table as an important issue here in the Alberni Valley. Obviously, pesticide use is more likely to lead us in the direction of food insecurity.

Our future depends on policy-makers, such as our mayor and council, making intelligent and forward- thinking decisions. Cities and towns across Canada have already led the way by writing bylaws banning pesticides. Their parks and landscapes are still beautiful. I’m sure that the skilled gardeners working for the city of Port Alberni and the other knowledgeable companies providing landscape gardening services in the area can do it without pesticides.

As a market gardener, flower grower and bee-keeper, I understand the issues intimately. However, one only has to care about their health and want a variety of good foods on their plate to want to ban pesticide use. It’s really a no brainer.

Miriam Turner,

Port Alberni

•••

Fletcher’s view way off base

To the Editor,

Re: Wolf kill last hope for caribou, BC Views, Jan. 29.

Tom Fletcher’s wolf kill justification facts are selective.

I’ve read government documents like, “Implementation Plan for Ongoing Management of Boreal Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou pop. 14) in British Columbia” as well as the “Boreal Caribou Science Update MoE 13October2010” and the scientists explain very clearly that the caribou population decline is due to “anthropogenic disturbances” explicitly described as “destruction, degradation and/or impairment of biodiversity and natural processes” caused by humans, mostly industry and not wolves.

The scientists clarify, “Decreasing the expected rate of decline in the Boreal Caribou population and significantly reducing the probability of extirpation may be achieved by protecting Caribou and their habitat from industrial activities, and managing the size and/or mitigating the effects of industrial footprint”.

They suggest such actions as “protecting habitat from industrial activities by changing practices associated with industrial activities and standardizing operating and planning practices”.

They state, “caribou have low productivity rates, bearing one young per year” and “Caribou have many natural predators, besides wolves, including black bear, grizzly bear, wolverines, lynx and even golden eagles, observed preying on neonatal caribou calves in the spring”.

To blame the wolves and create this “with hunt”, as a helicopter pilot of 20 years in the South Peace region explained it to me, is unjustifiable. This, coming from a man who admits enjoying hunting and killing wolves, who sees the truth regarding what’s happening with the caribou, with his own eyes.

Stacey Gaiga,

Port Alberni

•••

Conspicuously absent premier

To the Editor,

Where’s the Queen of Photo Ops?

In March 2014 container truck drivers servicing Port Metro Vancouver reached a deal to end a prolonged strike. Premier Christy Clark was quick to step into the media limelight to make the following announcement: “This agreement means the port is open again for business.

Recently Port Metro implemented its new trucking policies which have resulted in hundreds of truckers losing their jobs. It is unlikely Christy Clark will stage-manage another photo op because this time she would have to sit down and look the unemployed truckers in the eyes and say, “Gee guys, I’m sorry you lost your jobs.”

Lloyd Atkins,

Vernon

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