Saanich Coun. Fred Haynes wants to remind the public about the potentially serious consequences of using pesticides on residential properties.
Haynes was recently contacted by a constituent concerned about the use of Roundup, a glyphosate, being used to kill weeds in the Blenkinsop area. Such products are available on retail store shelves in Saanich to anyone but to use them on residential properties in Saanich requires a permit, as per the District’s 2010 Pesticide Bylaw.
While there is a misonception that Saanich has banned the use of pesticides it was only able to limit its residential use.
“The bylaw regulates the use of pesticides but municipalities don’t really have a say to the sale of pesticides,” said Adriane Pollard, manager of Saanich’s environmental services.
The provincial government is looking at making changes to its regulations, at that point Saanich could follow suit.
When Saanich brought the bylaw in, it did some outreach with nurseries so that people could ask questions about alternatives.
But just because products contain glyphosate, Saanich can’t ban its sale, only limit it to use by permit in some areas, Pollard said.
The bylaw does not apply to non-residential, commercial (such as golf courses), institutional, or industrial properties because municipalities, such as Saanich, do not have the legal jurisdiction to regulate these areas.
“You do have to notify neighbours and a minimum amount of signage is required,” Pollard said.
One use that’s permitted is for dealing with invasive species, such as knotweed.
The bylaw outlines pesticides containing glyphosate are only permitted for use on lawns and gardens in certain cases. The pesticide bylaw also regulates that no person may apply or otherwise use pesticides for the purpose of maintaining lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and other ornamental plants on private land.
Other pesticides included are 2,4,D (such as Weed n’ Feed, Killex, etc.) malathion, carbaryl (Sevin), diazinon, mecoprop and dicamba.
According to Haynes there is growing work that indicates the use of glyphosates are correlated with the growth in both celiac disease and the rise of autism in children, cancer too.
“I believe the public remains ignorant of the health impacts now being assigned to the presence of glyphosates,” states Haynes.
Saanich promootes natural ways to care for lawns which include mowing on a high setting to shade out weeds, to conserve moisture in the soil and promote root development; leave grass clippings on the lawn; water wisely – only 2.5 cm (1”) per week or let your lawn go brown in dry weather; and aerate and de-thatching to promote water retention and air circulation.
Pesticides should never be flushed down your toilet, sink or storm drains. There is no charge for dropping off pesticides and containers at the Hartland Landfill, Ellice Recycling (524 David St.) or Alpine Recycling (1045 Dunford Ave.)