I have been requesting a ban on pesticides in our city for quite some time.
Throughout the years, I have provided councillors with a great deal of literature from credible professionals, which included several individuals, agencies and medical groups.
One article that I think sums it up the best is by the Ontario College of Family Physicians:
"The frightening message came yesterday when the Ontario College of Family Physicians released the most comprehensive study ever done in Canada on the chronic effects of pesticide exposure at home, in the garden, and at work.
"The review found consistent evidence of the health risks to patients with exposure to pesticides," the study said, naming brain cancer, prostate cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer and leukemia among many other acute illnesses.
The researchers also found that children are far more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides than adults because their bodies are growing, they have a greater skin surface in proportion to their size than adults, they ingest more food for their size than adults, and they often have less-developed systems to excrete chemicals.
Pesticides contaminate our air, our water and our soil.
Pesticides don't stop at fences.
We've seen the devastation of what has been done by allowing another toxin, DDT, to be used. Traces of it are still being found and it has been banned for years.
I think everyone can agree that pesticides are poisons. Even the labels on the products prove that.
Our city has a bylaw for smoking. City council now wants to make it even stronger in order to lessen the effects for non-smokers.
Council has voiced its concern about a copper mine (tentatively) opening up near the city boundaries. Again, the concern being the health of the Kamloops people.
Why should pesticides be any different?
I have lost several friends and family members to leukemia. (The youngest being a beautiful six-year-old girl.)
They lived in various areas across the country.
Their ages varied.
Everyone had different careers.
The only common factor was that they all used pesticides on their properties.
Have any of you watched a six-year-old suffer a long painful battle as she died? Watched her hair hall out as she went through "treatment?" Have you ever seen how tiny a coffin is for a six-year-old, or experienced the hurt and suffering that her family had to face, day in, day out?
Even now, years later, on her birthdays and other special occasions her parents think of what could have been.
If she never got sick, what might be like today; what she might look like, what they could be doing together as a family.
Instead it not only took its toll, while the poor six-year-old child suffered, but afterwards the family parted ways. The parents had lost their precious daughter, their marriage, and their young son had lost his best friend, his sister.
How many more families must go through that?
Err on the side of caution, if nothing else.
Ban pesticides in the City of Kamloops!
On Quebec's ban, the Supreme Court of Canada stated: "It is reasonable to conclude that the town bylaw's purpose is to minimize the use of allegedly harming pesticides in order to promote the health of its inhabitants. Permitting the town to regulate use is consistent with international law's 'precautionary principal,' which states it is better to be overly cautious than to create a potential risk to the environment."
Perhaps the time has come to have the "pro-pesticide" people prove the "safety" of these toxins, rather than have those against pesticides prove the dangers.
However, I would like another "kick at the can," so to speak.
I challenge the "pro-pesticide" people to drink a glass of whatever it is they're currently spraying on lawns. "Silly," you say?
Why? That's exactly what you're doing to children and pets. Remember, they touch things, then put their hands/paws to their mouths. Dogs even eat grass!