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Thursday 1 February 2001

Calgary Herald
Letter to the Editor

End the poison
Re: "Council pledges pesticide reduction," Jan. 23.

It is disappointing that most members of council chose to be unsupportive of a move toward pesticide elimination.

One fact which did not come out in the media is that the $36-million figure for restoring parks, etc. was admitted by parks and recreation to be based on doing nothing to keep plants and soil healthy.

There is much more to integrated pest management than pesticides.

They claim they cannot do the IPM program without pesticides in their toolbox and yet their own expert, Dr. Keith Solomon, says IPM can be done without.

Other cities are doing it successfully. Most recently, the City of Waterloo has moved to eliminate pesticides.

As to the $20-million figure cited about Ottawa, it was a speculative one from 20 years ago when it stopped using 2,4-D and other herbicides. Ottawa has also not rescinded its ban.

When other cities have examined the potential health risks from pesticides, they have chosen to move quickly toward elimination. I have to wonder why Calgary is unwilling to do the same.

Barb Kinnie, Calgary