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Ottawa man points out exagerrations by Pro-Pesticide Spin Doctors
January 10, 2001

His Worship Mayor Al Duerr
Office of the Mayor
The City of Calgary
700 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, Alberta
T2G 2M3

Dear Mayor Duerr;

Since you are currently reviewing Calgary's IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategy I thought you would be interested in knowing that Parliament Hill, the most visible lawn in the country, hasn't used chemical pesticides in over five years? How is that possible? Fortunately, most Parliamentarians have recognized that the only 'crop' that Canada should be growing in our urban communities is our children so why would anyone want to expose them to unnecessary lawn & garden pesticides. Sounds logical to me.

It doesn't stop there. Rideau Hall have not used chemical lawn pesticides for over six years. The former Region of Ottawa-Carleton, The City of Ottawa, The City of Nepean, The City of Gloucester, Town of Osgoode, Village of Rockcliffe and all Ottawa area school boards all have policies restricting the cosmetic use chemical landscaping pesticides on public property. Have you been informed by now, that claims of 'weed infested fields' in Ottawa are totally exaggerating the actual facts? I trust the Supplemental Report on the IPM Plan (OE2001-10 / 2001 January 10) to Council will be corrected accordingly and noted in the minutes.

Now that we are on the subject of public green space, did you know that "The City of Waterloo embarked on a comprehensive pesticide reduction program for municipally owned land more than 10 years ago. Now, only .06 percent of 1,200 acres of public green space are sprayed (with chemical pesticides) and that is for eradication of poison ivy. During this time, Waterloo's parks budget has decreased by 54 percent while parkland has increased by 58 percent." (Ottawa Citizen, February 2000). The Supplemental Report on the IPM Plan (OE2001-10 / 2001 January 10) has forecasted that the opposite result would occur in Calgary. Then why is it that other municipalities in Canada have discovered, much to the satisfaction of their City Councils, that the "irreversible impact of banning pesticides" has resulted in "significant" costs savings to the taxpayers over a six to ten year period.

Do you think this would be a worthy exercise for staff to implement proven methods (IPM) in turf maintenance that save the Calgary taxpayers money and do not require the unnecessary use of chemical pesticides?


Mike Christie
Ottawa, Ontario