Councillor George Trainor responded as follows to my query about his opinion on a ban on cosmetic pesticide use with in the City of Charlottetown:
Municipalities have the responsibility to provide their citizens with access to clean and healthy parks and open spaces. Due to increasing concerns about the potential hazards of pesticide usage on public greenspaces many municipalities are seeking ways to reduce or eliminate the non-essential use of pesticides . The City of Charlottetown is one of these municipalities.
The largest applications of pesticides in most municipalities occurs on turf surfaces such as sport fields, cemeteries, park lawns and road corridors. I think it is prudent that the City focus on a small number of significant targets, such as the above, for action.
It may also be prudent for the City to consider a model such as the “Integrated Plant Health Care” model which is defined as ‘An ecologically based approach to establishing and maintaining developed and natural landscapes in an urban environment. It integrates an understanding of living systems, urban stresses, human needs and horticultural principles in developing maintenance solutions that are environmentally sound, healthy and sustainable.”
In this model human needs are considered as part of the equation. A model such as this promotes the development of solutions that addresses both the need for landscape facilities and for pesticide reduction/elimination. It notes the concept of education as being critical and suggests that a new class of “Eco-Gardener is required in order to address the growing need for sustainable, economical landscapes that meet the needs of a community.
In this model there are five stages to adopting an effective IPHC: Inventory current practices, Evaluate and prioritize options, Implement, Monitor and maintain, Plan organize and communicate. Hopefully this is the Model that our City will follow, we need more information, the direct needs and impacts on human beings have to be considered as key challenges and goals.
Thanks to Councillor Trainor for taking the time to respond.