Pesticide spraying upsets Charlottetown residents

Some Charlottetown residents are upset the city sprayed their lawns with herbicide without asking permission.

Some Charlottetown residents are upset the city sprayed their lawns with herbicide without asking permission.

Carla DiGiorgio said she had no idea the city planned to spray her lawn this week.

"There were slips of paper in the mail boxes, but they didn't say what address or what was actually happening. I came out yesterday and saw signs on everybody's lawn. I'm not pleased about it. I don't go for pesticides anyway so I don't like the fact that we weren't asked," she said Tuesday.

"I have dogs and children. I don't know where the limit is, so I'm not going near it." 

Her entire street had been sprayed, along with another in the area. That included the home of Daniel Schulman.

"I'm just stupefied. There are several different issues," he said.

"The city made no effort to consult with us. This herbicide has acute respiratory effects and there's a lot of people recovering in my neighbourhood from a severe winter of respiratory illness."

Residents wanted city to kill weeds

City crews dug up front lawns on the road a few years ago to put in new sewer mains. When the grass grew back, the city received complaints that it contained too many weeds.  

City staff hired a lawn care company to spray the lawns with a herbicide called Oracle, but the city councillor for that area said he knew nothing about the most recent spraying. Rob Lantz said residents and the council should have been consulted.

"A lot of people were taken by surprise and I'm sorry for that. Certainly some people might opt into this type of program, but I know there are a lot of people with huge concerns about the use of pesticides. They should have been at the very least consulted," he said.

Lantz said he requested the city stop the program. He said it now has a policy against using pesticides and he plans to push for a bylaw to ban them from city property altogether.

The provincial government is also asking lawn care companies to stop using Oracle.