Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay city council delays decision on emerald ash borer

Thunder Bay city councillors have delayed a decision on whether to adopt a proposed action plan to combat the emerald ash borer in the city.

Council also calls on federal and provincial governments to fund ash borer treatment

After an hour and a half discussion at Thunder Bay city hall Monday, council delayed a decision on committing money to fight the emerald ash borer, as many councillors wanted more information. City staff is expected to report back in the fall. (CBC)

Thunder Bay city councillors have delayed a decision on whether to adopt a proposed action plan to combat the emerald ash borer in the city.

Administration was looking for approval — as well as $550,000 in the 2017 municipal budget — to start treating eligible ash trees with an injected chemical that destroys the invasive beetle and its larvae. Other trees would be removed and replaced with other species.

After an hour and a half-long discussion, councillors voted to refer the matter back to city staff, citing a lack of detail in the report, and a desire to see other options explored, including ways to potentially bring the cost down, or recoup some of the money.

The report is slated back sometime this fall.

Council also spoke about how the municipality shouldn't solely be on the hook for the price tag of dealing with the pest, which is expected to cost millions over the next decade. To that end, they passed another resolution in a separate vote calling on the provincial and federal governments to do more to provide funding for municipalities.

"This is a national issue, this is a provincial issue," Coun. Andrew Foulds said. "Municipalities that get eight cents for every tax dollar are expected to do the heavy lifting, this is totally unacceptable."

The ash borer was first confirmed in the city in late June, in the area of Memorial Avenue and 4th Avenue.

City forester Shelley Vescio told council that some trees in the area have already been taken down and securely transported to be destroyed. She added that her department also has some money available to start some tree treatments this year.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now