Canada has no plans right now to follow the European Union's decision to ban a class of pesticides it believes is responsible for the deaths of many honey bees.
Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency said it already started a comprehensive review of three pesticides in the neonicotinoid class following last year's accidental poisonings of more than 200 apiaries in Ontario and Quebec by farmers applying the pesticides during plantings.
But it said that review is continuing and more investigation is needed to determine if the pesticides pose a significant environmental risk to domestic and wild pollinators. In the meantime, it has issued new rules to farmers on how to avoid killing bees with the pesticides.
Sierra Club Canada is calling on the federal government to follow the lead of European Union and take action to protect at-risk bee populations by banning three neonicotinoid pesticides: Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam.
The pesticides, which attack the bees’ nervous system, are being banned in Europe after strong evidence from a European Food Safety Authority study linked them to the bee die-off witnessed in Europe.
I had originally intended to write this column about my trip to Washington, DC on February 7-8, when I met with United States Senators and Congresspersons about climate and the Keystone XL pipeline. In brief, the trip was very successful in making links with strong proponents of climate action. Things are moving. The US General Accountability Office had decided that as a threat to federal government finances, climate change is now classed ‘high risk’.
In over a decade of work with businesses and grassroots environmental organizations like Sierra Club Ontario, I cannot recall such an obvious and non- contentious call to action as the one put forth by organizers of the MAYDAY Rally.
Let me clarify. Duffin Creek Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP), the second largest sewage plant in Ontario, is already a nuisance to the nearby shorelines of Ajax and Pickering. The proposed expansion of the plant to accommodate new residents in York Region should have a commitment to invest in better technology. If the current deterioration of shorelines due to the 340,000,000 litre-per-day discharge is not enough of an alarm bell, surely an expansion of operations is a timely opportunity to invest in a more sustainable solution.
On Tuesday October 22, Sierra Club Ontario, Sierra Club Peel Region Group and Credit Valley Conservation hosted a tree planting at Erindale Park, Mississauga. This event concludes Sierra Club Ontario’s tree planting for the season. We had a turnout of 11 volunteers and we managed to plant 143 trees, making our Grand Total 925 trees this year! The club joined with Credit Valley Conservation for four tree planting events this year, which took place in Streetsville Memorial Park, Meadowvale Conservation Area, Birchwood Park and finally Erindale Park.