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Posts Tagged ‘Pesticides’

go_green_posterThe Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Guelph in association with The City of Guelph and The Guelph Turfgrass Institute will host three evening workshops presenting alternatives to the use of pesticides on April 1, 8 and May 13 ($15 session; $35 series) at The Turf Grass Institute, 328 Victoria Road S, Guelph. Sessions run from 7.00 -9.00 p.m. with a Marketplace  at 6.30 p.m.

Gardeners will find these sessions timely.  While Guelph has a year-old bylaw phasing out the cosmetic use of pesticides, on Earth Day 2009 (April 22) an Ontario-wide cosmetic pesticides ban, which will override municipal bylaws, will take effect.

Series speakers will address these restrictions and offer strategies for pesticide-free gardening,

Additional information is available from June Ayrhart, Vice President, CFUW Guelph (june.ayrhart@sympatico.ca or 519-624-5254)

CFUW Guelph, is a non-profit group dedicated to the advancement of human rights, and committed to the education and improvement of the Status of Women.  Proceeds from this event will support the CFUW Guelph Scholarship Fund.

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I received this reminder for feedback on the proposed Ontario pesticide regulations from my good friend Diane Hurst. Act now before its too late.

Ontario Pesticide Bylaw – Request for Comments Until December 22

The Ontario Provincial Government is now accepting feedback on the proposed regulations around Cosmetic Pesticide use.

Please see the website below and send in your comments and support for the ban BEFORE DECEMBER 22.

http://www.pesticidereform.ca/EBR.htm

Remember – this is “cosmetic use”.  We don’t need to fill our one planet, and bodies with poisions in order to have a lawn that looks good.  I’m for a total ban of all pesticides – for golf courses – everything.  We create these “man made chemicals”, put them into our biosphere and they have nowhere to go and break down very very slowly.  It’s a toxic soup – and we have to breath, drink and eat it – and so do many other generations. 

Talk about fouling your nest – just for a law that looks like some Martian clone monocrop.

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A show dedicated to environmental issues.

Erin Harkins from the OPIRG-Guelph Speed River Project joined us in the first half to chat about the upcoming Urban Wilderness Weekend May 17-19 and the upcoming Speed River Clean Up on June 7.

We also updated the need to submit comments about Ontario’s proposed Cosmetic Pesticides legislation before May 22, 2008 to the Environmental Registry to ensure that the legislation and regulations will most effectively protect human and environmental health. Not only should you send in your comments to the registry but you should also send a letter to Dalton McGuinty and Environment Minister Gerretsen. You can read me about this issue here.

In the second half of the show we were able to follow up on on the proposed improvements to the Hanlon Expressway and the recent workshops put on by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation with our regular transit and traffic correspondents, David “CDLU” Graham and Laura Murr.

Unfortunately the jury is still out as to whether the Ministry of Transportation will pay any attention to the community input they’ve received during the workshops. We’ll continue to follow this issue as it develops.

Remember to let all our elected representatives, municipal and provincial, know about what you think about the proposed improvements to the Hanlon. Don’t forget that as Guelph citizens we are likely to pick up the tab for any of the money the city needs to spend in our taxes!

Ask yourself one question, is it really appropriate to have a 100 km per hour expressway running right through the centre of Guelph?

Who is this going to benefit?

I’m biased, but if I’ve learnt anything in the life, you only need to “follow the money” to work out who benefits from something like this. It ain’t you and me folks!

Top of the list of beneficiaries will be the lobbyists, engineers and road contractors. Don’t forget the MTO is really the Ministry of Roads and Highways. This is all about helping big business move goods past Guelph. Its not at all about making it easier for you to get home or to Home Depot. Faster roads don’t ease congestion they just move congestion.

Apologies for sound quality that is not as good as normal. Not sure why that happened. I’d heard from one listener that the show sounded fine on the radio at the time. Please let me know if you’ve had problems listening to the show. We’re still adjusting to a nice new studio which has created some minor sound issues.

Music:
Two Hours Traffic, “Sure can start” from “Little Jabs”
James Gordon and Sons: “This is just a song” from “James Gordon and Sons”
Kraftwerk: “Autobahn” from “Autobahn”

The audio for this show is no longer available on the website.  If however you wish to hear it again, please contact us at info@royalcityrag.ca. Thank You.

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To Members and Supporters of a Pesticide Free Ontario:

On April 22, 2008, Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act was introduced for first reading. It is imperative that you submit your comments before May 22, 2008 to the Environmental Registry to ensure that the legislation and regulations will most effectively protect human and environmental health.

Please read the EBR Registry Number:  010-3348 here.

Complete the form online.

The key points to emphasize are:

1. Overall, I strongly support the ban on lawn pesticide use and sales.

2. The only exemptions should be to protect public health. There should be no exemptions for golf courses and “other prescribed uses”.

3. The only allowed products/active ingredients for both commercial and home use should be based on the accepted list of municipal bylaws as follows:

  • A product that uses pheromones to lure pests, sticky media to trap pests or “quick-kill” traps for vertebrate species considered pests, such as mice and rats.
  • A product that is or contains only the following active ingredients: a soap, a mineral oil, also called “dormant or horticultural oil”; silicon dioxide, also called “diatomaceous earth”; Biological pesticides, including Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and nematodes, Borax, also called “boric acid” or “boracic acid”; Ferric phosphate; Acetic acid; Fatty acids; Sulphur; or Corn gluten meal.

4. The provincial ban should still allow municipalities to pass more restrictive bylaws, as stated by Premier McGuinty when the legislation was introduced.

 

Please also consider writing to The Honourable Dalton McGuinty and Minister Gerretsen
dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org  cc:  jgerretsen.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Apparently Premier McGuinty’s office does not see the EBR submissions, so it is critical that we write to the premier emphasizing the importance of municipalities retaining the right to enact more restrictive pesticide bylaws.

In your own words, please personalize a letter, emphasizing the following points:

SAMPLE LETTER:

To The Honourable Dalton McGuinty,

I am writing to say that, although I support most of the proposed Provincial Pesticide Legislation banning the sale and use of lawn and garden pesticides, I strongly believe that we need the following changes to Bill 64 so that this legislation does not leave us vulnerable to future, unnecessary pesticide use.

  1. Remove the clause, “Bylaw-laws inoperative – (5) A municipal by-law is inoperative if it addresses the use, sale, offer for sale or transfer of a pesticide that may be used for a cosmetic purpose”. Cities and towns should retain the authority to enact pesticide bylaws that are more health-protective than the provincial ban.
  2. Remove the clause “Excepted uses (2) 5. “Other prescribed uses”. The only exemption should be to protect public health.
  3. The Bill needs to focus on products that will be allowed rather than a list of prohibited active ingredients and products, with effective mechanisms to ensure the integrity of that list. e.g. Roundup/glyphosate is currently NOT on the banned list, but should be.

I believe these changes are needed to provide the best protection to all Ontario residents.

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Let me banish any cynicism that may have crept in during previous postings. This program sounds like a great idea; it should be over-subscribed. This really is walking the talk!

Landscape Assessment Program
Make your landscape a healthy landscape and experience the benefits of going green!

To help Guelph residents and businesses establish low water-use and pesticide free environments the City of Guelph is now offering the Healthy Landscapes – Landscape Assessment Program.

Through this exciting new program Guelph residents and businesses can book a complimentary 30-minute consultation with a City Landscape Advisor to review their landscape and discuss potential landscape based alternatives to make the property more water efficient and naturally beautiful.

What does a Landscape Assessment visit include?

Through this program, a City of Guelph Landscape Advisor will visit your property to provide site-specific suggestions and landscape advice. The focus of the landscape assessment will be catered to you to provide suggestions regarding site landscaping alternatives and to answer questions you may have. Some typical items which may be covered through a landscape assessment site visit include:

  • Evaluation of your landscape’s current physical characteristics and growing conditions
  • Identification of non-invasive and drought tolerant plant alternatives for your property
  • Overview of proactive lawn and garden maintenance steps to limit the effects of pests and impacts of seasonal drought
  • Discussion of lawn and turf alternatives such as ground cover, shade gardening and hardscapes
  • Discussion of lawn and garden watering best practices
  • Identification of alternative watering systems such as rain barrels and drip irrigation
  • Overview of natural, safe, and effective pest control practices

Book your landscape assessment
To sign up for the Landscape Assessment Program send an e-mail to healthylandscapes@guelph.ca or call 519-822-1260 x 2153.

Please note there are a total of 500 available Landscape Assessment Program site visits to be completed throughout the spring and summer of 2008.

Bookings will be completed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Landscape consultations will begin on Monday, May 12. Landscape assessments will be booked Monday through Thursday between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will continue throughout the spring and summer until August 21, 2008.

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Considering the health issues I’m struggling with, I’m calling this one “The Lazarus show”. Not because I feel like I’ve turned the corner but because, like Lazarus, I’m determined to get my life back.

Appropriately we started off with “Dig, Lazarus, Dig” from the wonderful new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album of the same name.

In the first half of the show Oxanna Adams, from Guelph Environmental Network (left) joined us to talk about Guelph’s new pesticide bylaw.

A lot of people have worked hard to develop a bylaw that protects the community. Hopefully it won’t be derailed by a weaker provincial law because of intense lobbying by lawn care companies. As pesticide products have started to disappear off the shelves at major retailers its hard to imagine that the clock will be turned back again.

Oxanna indicated it is very important that people send comments in to the Environmental Registry to ensure that the legislation and regulations will most effectively protect human and environmental health. The form can be completed online here. For more information on what to write, read this post.

We also had a short interview with the mayor, Karen Farbridge, that I recorded at the youth charette put on by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal this past Saturday in downtown Guelph. Fifteen Guelph high school students have been involved in the urban design exercise over the past three months. It was great to see our young people so thoughtfully engaged in planning for community. For more information on the charette, take a look at this post. I have interviews with students and ministry personnel that I’ll play on a future show.

Which reminds me, what a great name for a ministry; “The Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal”? In honour of the Lazarus show, I’m going to kick off the “Jan Hall Personal Infrastructure Renewal Project”!

Brian Holstein joined us in the second half for his monthly review of goings on around City Hall finding time to cover the pesticide bylaw, overnight street parking, the success of both Doors-Open Guelph and Jane’s Walk, the controversial proposed improvements to the Hanlon expressway and Storytelling at the Boathouse with Tom King. 

Brian delivered one of his trademark rants but sounded curiously mellow this time around, focusing on Spring flowers, trash, car alarms and, oh yes, corporate bullies at the Ontario Municipal Board. He even accepted that the municipal election is finally over now we have a responsible and community oriented council in place. Well, that is, until the next time!

What will next month’s rant bring? More ranting about jay-walking in the downtown, people who drive Hummers, and those who wear white before Victoria Day? You can’t keep a good man down. Tune in next month to find out

Music:
Nick Cave: “Dig, Lazarus, Dig” from “Dig, Lazurus, Dig”
Ryan Adams: “To be young (is to be sad, is to be high)” from “Heartbreaker”
The Seekers: “One step forward, two steps back” from “The Best of the Seekers Today”

The audio for this show is no longer available on the website.  If however you wish to hear it again, please contact us at info@royalcityrag.ca. Thank You.

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Is this a record? The Ontario Liberal Government does something sensible twice in a week. Last week it was vetoing the clotheslines ban, this week it is banning pesticides. 

What will they do next? Prevent Nestle selling our water for profit? Oh, I think I’m dreaming on that one!

“Ontario Bans Pesticides” Toronto Star, April 21 2008

http://www.thestar.com/article/416766

I’m starting to think this must be an election year… It can’t be though, unless the Ontario Liberals are trying to help out Stephane Dion’s woefully inept Federal Liberals?

Well, we should applaud the government on this one. They’ve saved our own Mayor and Council from having to make a popular but also potentially damaging decision amongst those sections of the electorate who see garden weeds as the worst blight our neighbourhoods can possibly suffer.

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