Premier McGuinty’s campaign promise to ban the non-essential use of chemical pesticides and chemical herbicides may soon become a reality. However, not enough people submitted their comments on the Environmental Registry regarding the newly proposed Ontario pesticide legislation (Proposal Notice 010-2248). The environmental registry is the forum used by the government to consult the public. The environmental registry posting indicates that “The government will look at other communities and jurisdictions, including Quebec, that have implemented bans on cosmetic uses of pesticides. Currently, the use of pesticides (including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, or combinations of any of these) is restricted in a number of municipalities across Ontario" and over 135 across Canada.
In 1999, the 35th Senate Subcommittee on the Boreal Forest published a report titled, “COMPETING REALITIES: The Boreal Forest at Risk". The subcommittee recommended that, “All herbicide and chemical pesticide use in the boreal forest should be phased out as soon as possible.”
The province of Quebec banned the application of chemical herbicides by the forestry industry in 2001. They have perfected a variety of non-chemical tools to replace chemical herbicides, presently applied in Ontario to regenerate conifer seedlings. As the boreal forest runs across all of Canada and most of the northern hemisphere (maps), the tools used in Quebec and Scandinavian countries to replace chemical herbicides are similarly available for use in Ontario's boreal forest.
It is imperitave to submit your comments. Comments can be as brief as a single sentence of support for the proposal to require Ontario's forestry industry to make use of recognized and well known non-chemical alternatives to manage vegetation in the boreal forest. Without your comments, the government may give into lobby pressure from multinational corparations and continue to allow non-essential chemical herbicides to be sprayed in the headwaters feeding the Great Lakes (maps), the Ottawa River (maps), and the James Bay.
It is essential that we make use of the available alternatives to chemical herbicides in the boreal forest, for the ecosystems and our part in those systems. Even large and expensive water filtration plants, such as those used in Ottawa and Toronto, are ineffective to remove chemical herbicides and pesticides from drinking water before it is delivered to the public.
Are you comfortable exposing yourself to "minute" amounts of non-essential chemical herbicides in your drinking water, knowing that the medical community has banded together, telling the public to minimize their exposure to these chemicals in every way possible?
Please call and tell your MPP why its important to you that Ontario mimick leading jurisdictions like Quebec and Scandinavia, follow the advice of our family doctors and senate sub-committee, and finally implement the known alternatives to chemicals herbicides in Ontario's boreal forest.
NOTICE-OF-AERIAL-SPRAYING - Chemical Herbicides:: Pineland Forest 2007 - DOMTAR - Ministry of Natural Resources
Application for Investigation - Environmental Commissioner of Ontario - Herbicides deposited in waterways - Ontario Water Resources Act
* Ontario Ministry of Environment
Application for Investigation - Auditor General of Canada - Herbicides deposited in fish bearing waterways - Fisheries Act
* Indian & Northern Affairs Canada
* Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Pineland "independent" forest audit 2007- Arbex Forest Resources Consultants - "Independent" and "Inaccessible" to the public.
NOTICE-OF-AERIAL-SPRAYING - Chemical Herbicides: Martel Forest 2007- Tembec - Ministry of Natural Resources
NOTICE-OF-AERIAL-SPRAYING - Chemical Herbicides: Spanish Forest 2007 - DOMTAR - Ministry of Natural Resources
One of the community needs in northern communities is a guarantee that forestry activities will not contaminate drinking water, flora, or fauna ... making it un-fit for human consumption.
As such, responsible forestry includes using alternative methods of deciduous (leafed) plant control rather than spraying herbicides. A petition been created which should be distributed widely.
Online Petition - Stop the herbicide spray in N.Ontario
Download the petition & fax it into the National Aboriginal Forestry Association
If our history has proven one thing, it is that the herbicides which are currently being used will be found to have caused great ecological damage, likely with long term and lasting effects. The 2003 report of the Auditor General echoes this view.
“The federal government does not have reliable, up-to-date information about pesticides that it needs to manage them effectively. It lacks significant information on the use of pesticides and exposure to them. Research on health impacts is very limited ..." (1.134 AG).
"Overall, we conclude that the federal government is not managing pesticides effectively." (1.136 AG).
“In several cases, the measures listed on pesticide labels, even if followed, appear not to have been enough to prevent environmental damage.”
Like the fish in the Great Lakes, our fish in our rivers, streams, and lakes could soon be deemed safe to eat only below a specified quantity, or possibly even unsafe for human consumption at any level.
Responsible Forestry is comming soon to an area near you... along with community base sustainable forestry licences.