© The Guardian/Heather Tweel
Sharon Labchuk, left, is joined by cosmetic pesticide opponent Roger Gordon as they sprinkle corn gluten granules on the lawn in front of Province House Wednesday.
Editor: If you were to type the two words pesticides and cancer into the search function of The Guardian newspaper website then you will find 22 pages of results dating back to 2007, presumably when The Guardian started digitally archiving articles on their site.
If you were to go to any corner of P.E.I., you will find people talking about their belief that pesticides are what is causing P.E.I.’s high incidence of cancer and other devastating illnesses. There are entire roads throughout the province, I am told, where every household has someone fighting cancer in it.
P.E.I. not only has the weakest cosmetic pesticide regulations in Canada, but on our tiny little island, municipalities do not have the authority to ban cosmetic pesticides. Anywhere else in Canada, if the province hasn’t already banned the carcinogenic substances people spray needlessly on their lawns, then the municipality has the authority to ban them. Thousands of them, but not on P.E.I..
Soon people on P.E.I. will be getting notices in their mailboxes that their neighbours are spraying cosmetic pesticides. Some people in the community I live in are spraying them next to playgrounds, daycares and where children are getting off of buses.
In our community we have had a number of children who have been fighting cancer and one extremely concerned parent has told me that they will not allow their children to drink the water at school.
My guess is the majority of the population of P.E.I. feels the same as I do, that the government has been willfully blind (which is an actual legal term) to what is going on: pesticides are poisoning the people of P.E.I..
All we need is one minister to step up and propose with conviction amending the pesticide legislation —starting with the cosmetic pesticides. On another unrelated issue that mattered to him (Order of P.E.I.), Premier Ghiz was able to change legislation recently within a few weeks. Let’s get this done.