New Brunswick

Anti-spray group gives 4 political parties failing grades on glyphosate

The group Stop Spraying New Brunswick handed out failing grades Thursday to the four parties that had seats in the legislature, suggesting even those opposed to spraying glyphosate and other herbicides on Crown land were not dogged enough.

Stop Spraying New Brunswick group hands out 4th annual report card

Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy, chair of Stop Spraying New Brunswick, says the group is asking political candidates to sign a pledge to work toward a ban on spraying glyphosate. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)

The group Stop Spraying New Brunswick handed out failing grades Thursday to the four parties that had seats in the legislature, suggesting even those opposed to spraying glyphosate and other herbicides on Crown land were not dogged enough.

The group handed out its fourth annual report card in Petitcodiac.

The grades are based on the parties' performance in the house before it was dissolved earlier this month for the Sept. 14 election.

The Progressive Conservative, Liberal and Green parties, and the People's Alliance all got an "F" for on the issue of banning herbicides. The New Democratic Party had no seats in the house.

This is the report card given to political parties for efforts during the last legislature to stop spraying. (Submitted/"Stop Spraying New Brunswick")

The group's marks for efforts to change regulations or table a motion or bill varied.

The Green Party earned a B-plus, while the Liberals received a D-minus

"We have seen steadily year after year that there is much more legislative motion going on," said Donald Bowser, vice-chair of the anti-spray group. So the parties know this, they know that the public supports it.

"They try to do enough to appease the public, but yet we still don't have a ban on glyphosate."  

The group said the Green Party did table a motion to ban glyphosate on Oct. 24, 2018, but it didn't reach the debate stage. 

Donald Bowser is the vice-chair of the anti-spraying group. He says there has been too much talk and not enough action on the glyphosate issue. (Pierre Fournier/CBC News )

The Green Party also tabled a bill in November 2019 that dealt with a ban on spraying, along with other forestry issues, but the party did not pursue it further.

The group said the Liberal Party tabled a motion in November 2019 to study glyphosate, which was debated and voted on in December 2019.

During that process, the Green Party proposed an amendment to ban spraying on Crown land, but it was defeated after only getting votes from the Greens and the People's Alliance.

Stop Spraying New Brunswick hands out its annual report card in Petitcodiac. (Pierre Fournier/CBC News )

The group said the Progressive Conservative government announced a 30 percent reduction of spraying in 2019, but hasn't provided details to confirm this has happened.

Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy, chair of Stop Spraying New Brunswick, said she would like to see the political parties follow through.

Lubbe-D'Arcy said 35,000 New Brunswickers have signed a petition calling for a stop to spraying in the province.

The group is asking political candidates to sign a pledge showing where they stand on the issue. 

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