Pesticides at centre of candidate forum
Candidates for the Charlottetown-Victoria Park district had their chance to weigh in on some of the top environmental issues at a public forum Tuesday night.
About 50 people packed a lecture hall at Holland College's culinary institute. The leader of Green Party, Sharon Labchuk, and the environment minister from the incumbent government, Richard Brown, are running in the district. That drew in people from outside the district to talk about cosmetic lawn pesticides.
"I have a child with allergies and asthma. Half the time we can't go outside because everybody in Stratford wants their lawn to look a certain way," Barbara Cairns told the candidates.
"You've got to get off the pot and make some decisions. Total ban."
Progressive Conservative candidate Myles MacKinnon went straight to the point in his response.
"A PC government will ban cosmetic pesticides in residential areas. Period," said MacKinnon.
The NDP's Rita Jackson promised the same thing, as did Labchuck. Brown was the only candidate not to commit to a total ban. Instead, he made reference to his government's record on cosmetic pesticides.
"We banned 2,4-D. We're looking at other products. The research is being done," he said.
The debate was mostly civil, but Labchuk got a little heated about how Brown characterized his record.
"You've continuously claimed you've banned lawn pesticides in P.E.I. We haven't; we banned one. Why? Because the agriculture lobby is leaning all over you, and everybody knows that," she said.
No representative from the Island Party attended the debate.