City council members were surprised to see the province’s proposed pesticide regulations allow them to pick and choose which parts they want to take on.
Mayor Peter Milobar said Tuesday he thought it was strange that the City can opt out entirely and stick with its own pesticide bylaw.
City parks planning and sustainability supervisor Mike Doll told him there are still some gray areas and the province is still seeking information and feedback.
But at this stage, it does look like the City could opt out of part or all of the regulations.
Milobar said that could be “a step backwards without cohesiveness.”
Stores selling pesticides would have to follow the provincial rules that, if passed, would restrict any pesticides deemed not safe to being locked up and sold only after the buyer is educated.
The City suggested proof of certification should be required for people buying products not on the safe list.
Doll said the province wants feedback from municipalities by Sunday. The new rules are being implemented in two stages between spring 2014 and 2015.
He felt the City should point out the proposed regulations don’t go as far as to require signage before pesticides are applied to a property, which the City does require.
They also allow glyphosates (such as Roundup) to be used without a licence on private property if there are noxious weeds. Glyphosates will kill a range of plants and leave a bare area where weeds can resume growing.
A better option would be to use a specific pesticide that would target only the noxious weeds, he said.
City integrated pest management co-ordinator Karla Hoffman said the City already deems that only certified applicators can use products like Roundup. The City allows homeowners to use selective pesticides on noxious weeds, but not broad-killing ones.
Coun. Donovan Cavers said the move to a B.C.-wide pesticide regulation is a positive one, as did Coun. Ken Christian, who noted the requirement for a licensed applicator isn’t just for cosmetic use, but fruit trees as well.
Council unanimously endorsed the staff report with the suggestions Doll mentioned.