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Grand Forks won’t enact cosmetic pesticide ban

A Grand Forks resident is extremely disappointed city council has chosen not to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides.

Christina Abbott led a petition for the ban and spoke to city council on Monday, laying out her case and highlighting the negative health and environmental effects.

But city council decided to look at a public information campaign after their bylaw officer, Jon Wilson, said it would be difficult to enforce with “limited success.” Wilson was responsible for enacting a pesticide ban in the City of Kamloops.

Abbott says money on a PR campaign could be better spent on enforcement.

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“There are 60-plus counting communities that have done this in B.C. and that’s all we want is you (city council) to protect us and do the same and I’m absolutely just mind-blown that that was the lame answer to why they were not going to approve the bylaw. I’m…I’m just shocked,” Abbott said in an interview with Vista Radio.

Abbott says city council has a responsibility to protect the public.

“Everybody is aware of what pesticides do. It’s another way to circumvent what they know what they should be doing. You’re willing to spend money on education, which you know, that costs money, but you’re not willing to just have a ban on the pesticides,” she said.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable. Unacceptable decision!” Abbott explained.

During her interview, Abbott detailed her experience of being exposed to pesticides two years ago from a tractor spraying an apple orchard on the outskirts of Grand Forks. She says she shared a video of the spraying with the mayor and the exposure prompted her to advocate for the ban.

Mayor Everett Baker empathizes with Abbott but says the city has no control over agricultural uses in a city surrounded by farmland.

Baker plans to talk with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary about funding opportunities for a PR campaign.

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