Summerside pesticide bylaw on track for spring launch

The Summerside pesticide bylaw is almost ready to be presented to council, according to the city's chief administrative officer.

City plans to introduce third-party pest management program, in addition to restricting products

The new bylaw should be ready for a March 31 launch. (Bert Savard/CBC)

The Summerside pesticide bylaw is almost ready to be presented to council and could be on track for a spring launch, according to the city's chief administrative officer.

"Just a few minor tweaks and ready to present it to council in January," said Bob Ashley.

The plan differs slightly from those followed by other communities in P.E.I. 

Most municipalities have introduced a list of restricted products along with other regulations. Summerside is using a similar list but also enlisting the partnership of a third-party company, Plant Health Atlantic, which has been working with the province of New Brunswick, said Ashley. Plant Health Atlantic will be running an integrated pest management program. 

"It's an approach which calls upon a variety of different methodologies to combat unwanted insects or disease with more environmentally friendly products...we try the simplest most innocuous solutions to begin with and then as things get worse more serious measures are taken," said Ashley.

A few changes

The governance, policy and strategy committee has been busy meeting with stakeholders while writing the bylaw. Recently they met with some industry operators who said the combination approach could prove troublesome for them, prompting the committee to make some changes — for example, increasing the coverage of any property allowed by the pesticides.

"The integrated pest management system restricts coverage of any one property to no more than 40 percent usage of the chemicals," said Ashley. "However, because we are introducing the integrated pest management with environmentally friendly products, we felt that we could relax that restriction and allow 100 percent." 

The committee is also thinking about the next phase after the bylaw is passed — education. 

"We will have to put together a communications plan, and yes we will be doing that probably early in the spring and ongoing for a while in the growing season," said Ashley.

The bylaw should be ready for presentation to council in January, with the hope that it will be in place by March 31.