Copyright © Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
Wednesday February 22, 2006
Hamilton increased its use of pesticides on parks and
cemeteries tenfold last year. And it will continue to spray
hundreds of hectares even as council prepares to launch a
campaign to discourage homeowners from using weed killers.

West Hamilton Councillor Brian McHattie, an
environmentalist who is promoting a draft bylaw that would
require a $25 licence to spray private property, said he was
surprised to learn how much parkland the city sprayed last

McHattie said council rejected a $500,000 integrated plant
health care program in 2002, but adopted a low-pesticide-use
policy in 2003, setting the stage for the present situation.

"It's unfortunate we're going this way. Council gave direction,
but didn't provide funding."

Despite what staff call a uniform, city-wide policy, they have
refrained from spraying McHattie's Ward 1 because of his
opposition. Council also voted last week to give him $15,000
for an unspecified experiment in using citizen volunteers to
maintain parks.

McHattie said he was "flying by the seat of his pants" when
he asked for the money, "so I've got $15,000 to do
something," but he wasn't sure what.
City's use of weed spray is growing
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