Charlottetown educating residents before pesticide ban comes into effect
'They proof is in the pudding so to speak,' says deputy mayor, hoping to convince residents of alternatives
With a ban on cosmetic pesticides set to come into effect on Jan. 1, the city has been focusing on getting information out to residents to prepare them for the switch.
Charlottetown Deputy Mayor Mike Duffy said it's key to get the information out now — before residents sign on with lawn care companies for next year.
He said the city is working on developing a video to educate people about alternative products they can use.
"You can only do that — convince some people — by showing them plots where nothing has been used, very safe [pesticides] have been used very lethal [pesticides] have been used and there's no difference," he said.
"They proof is in the pudding so to speak and we hope to do that by showing them."
Working with Stratford, Cornwall
The ban, which was passed at city council in July, was based on similar bylaws in the adjoining towns of Cornwall and Stratford.
The city has been getting advice from Stratford — which started its ban at the beginning of this year — and plans to work with Stratford and Cornwall on an educational campaign.
Duffy said there have discussions around hiring another bylaw enforcement officer, but that would have to be passed with the budget.
He said there may be an opportunity to share the position and the cost with Stratford.
Fines of up to 5,000
There is a list of 41 pesticides allowed under the new bylaw.
Professional applicators will be able to apply for an exception in the case of infestations of invasive species or tree bugs for a $50 fee.
The fines for non-compliance will range from $1,000 to $2,500 for a first offence and go up as high as $5,000 for subsequent offences.
With files from Natalia Goodwin