Since the Liberals banned the residential use of pesticides in 2009 the debate has been raging regarding the validity of the 2004 report by the Ontario College of Family Physicians that was used by the government to support of their decision. The Liberals have dug their heels in stating that the report is technically sound while a growing movement to discredit the report calls it not much more than junk science. So, what is an average citizen to do? Who do you believe?There is little doubt that the safest position to take is that to keep the ban, right? Let Mother Nature do her own thing and let all vegetation and wildlife fight for their (your) turf.
We see two issues that should be addressed in order to better understand the situation:
1) Is it right to let only the strong (vegetation and insects) survive?
2) Can average citizens be trusted to make their own decisions regarding the safe use of pesticides?
Our position on these two issues is as follows:
1) Left unchecked the strong will almost always win. Hearty weeds will dominate neighbourhoods killing their weaker challengers. Residents will have little choice regarding what grows on their properties but we can be quite sure that grass won’t be one of the survivors. Residents with allergies to certain vegetation will have to learn to live with their new guests. Do you enjoy the colours and fragrances of your favorite plants? Too bad for you, unless you enjoy dandelions and thistle. Only the strong should survive according to Liberal thinking. Mr. McGuinty defended his ban by stating that our children should have safe yards and parks to play. Does it make sense for children to be rolling around in patches of thistle? We think not.
2) Our position is that the vast majority of Ontario’s citizens are mature enough to make their own decisions about the surroundings they want to live in. Mr. McGuinty is basically stating that he knows best regarding what is good for you and your family. He is also saying that he doesn’t trust us to make your own decisions regarding the use of pesticides and is therefore more concerned about our children than we are. This ban is an insult to every citizen of this Province, whether you support the ban or not. Even if you support the ban please understand that the decision was made for you, not by you, and you just happened to be on the winning side.
So, what is the right way to move forward? Is there a path that will be more fair and reflective of a community’s wishes? It is clear that the Liberal position is firm so we can’t look to them for help so it is left to the rest of us to provide a sensible plan moving forward.
The Parkdale Party supports the following approach:
1) Examine the costs associated with policing the existing ban.
2) Rescind the ban and use the funds saved from the policing budget to better educate the public. Gather and publish all research related to the use of pesticides in private and public spaces.
We belive that the citizens of Ontario are responsible enough to make their own decisions, once they have the facts available to them regarding the positive and negative aspects of the use of these banned substances. Does Mr. McGuinty really believe that us dummies don’t care about the health of our children? His actions certainly say this is the case.
The government’s job is to provide unbiased information and then stand back. Let communities make their own decisions based on their own interpretation of such unbiased data. Our position is supported by The Parkdale Party’s motto:
“For Communities, By Communities”