Letters to the Editor – June 29

In defense of herbicide and against Site C

Response to articles on herbicide use in the City of Fernie

The Integrated Environmental Plant Management Association of Western Canada (IEPMA) is a member based association that supports many certified applicators and arborists throughout B.C. and Alberta through advocacy and education. It is important to respond to the recent articles on herbicide use in the City of Fernie to give science based information. Health Canada through the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) approves the use of pesticides for residential, commercial, agricultural and many more uses. The product that tops the most studied list worldwide is 2,4-D. It is a component of more than 6000 registered products in Canada and for 70 years has been the world’s most widely-used herbicide. It is used by farmers to maximize crop growth and produce more food per acre, public works operators to improve safety along highways and rail lines, foresters to control competing growth to new seedlings, and homeowners to manage weeds on their lawns. Based on continually updated scientific studies, health and safety authorities around the world find that 2,4-D meets modern safety standards. To find out more on Health Canada and its reviews of 2,4-D go Hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/part/protect-proteger/24d/index-eng.php.

Many B.C. cities, municipalities, schoolboards and Regional Districts use certified applicators and realize the value of proper and safe use of herbicides. The City of Fernie has the ability to resolve this issue by simply amending their bylaw to allow certified applicators licenced by the Ministry of Environment to apply products within the city limits. This works well in other B.C. communities that have similar bylaws restricting the use of herbicides. This gives both the homeowner and the municipality an appropriate and safe method for applications involving the use of herbicides. For more information about how the IEPMA provides education to certified applicators please visit iepma.ca

Paul Visentin

President Integrated Environmental Plant Management Association of Western Canada

Site C project

I must admit to some surprise at reading of MLA Shypitka’s defence of the Site C project based on the number of jobs involved. Certainly there are 2200 people now working on the mega project, (the biggest project ever undertaken in B.C.) but one does not commit the taxpayers of B.C. to fund a project with a price tag of at least $16,000,000,000 just to provide jobs. That works out to $7,272,727 per job. As a businessman Mr. Shypitka must know that one does not commit to any business venture without a carefully crafted business plan to, as much as possible, ensure a successful outcome. This has never been done with Site C. No one knows who will buy this power. Last year the University of British Columbia (UBC) did an in depth study of the project and found that demand for power in B.C. has been flat or declining since 2008. Alberta has shown no interest in purchasing the power. Should the projections of UBC be in error there is significant unused capacity in the Columbia River dams that could be brought online much more cheaply and with less environmental disturbance than Site C. (Reported on CBC 2015). This site, obviously, is closer to markets and already has the infrastructure to move that power to markets.

No one is, at this point suggesting Site C be abandoned, all that is being suggested is that it be reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission to ensure that it is a viable project with a reasonable prospect of returning a profit to the taxpayers of B.C. No one wants to see a loss of jobs but should the project be shown to be not viable better to cut our losses and cancel now. The responsibility for those lost jobs must rest with the government of Christy Clark for not doing their due diligence in the first place.

David Bird

Fernie, B.C.

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