Gatineau Sans Pesticides: ban the use of BTI in Gatineau, councillors to vote March 21
Gatineau Sans Pesticides, a local environmental group, is urging residents to take a stand against the use of harmful pesticides and are ramping up efforts to ban the use of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, commonly known as BTI, in the Gatineau region. The local environmental group is alarmed at the destructive effects of the pesticide on the ecosystem and is urging citizens to join the campaign to stop its use.
BTI is a pesticide that is still being used to control the population of mosquitoes in areas of standing water and marshes throughout seven districts in the east end of the city from April to September. While it effectively kills mosquitoes, it also has harmful effects on non-target species, including fish and dragonflies that feed on mosquito larvae, and birds that rely on insects for food. These unintended consequences can have a ripple effect on the wider ecosystem, as these species play a critical role in pollinating plants and maintaining biodiversity. "It's time for us to take action and demand a ban on these harmful substances," said Claire Charron and Esther Cry, members of the group.
---A future without birds?
While mosquitoes can be considered a nuisance, they play a crucial role in the ecosystem by serving as a food source for many predators, including birds, bats, and fish. Additionally, some species of mosquitoes are pollinators, helping with the reproduction of plants. Mosquito larvae also play an essential role in cleaning up water ecosystems by consuming organic matter and other pollutants. The group asked an important question, "Are we willing to envision a future without birds?" which highlights the potential danger of disrupting the ecosystem by eliminating key species such as mosquitoes.
The group highlighted that there are viable alternatives to BTI that have been shown to be effective in controlling mosquito populations while preserving the environment and wildlife.
Gatineau Sans Pesticides wants the public to take action. March 21st at 7 pm, Councillor Anik Des Marais (Mitigomijokan district) will present a proposal to city council to stop spraying BTI in Gatineau. All 20 city councillors will vote. Anyone can call 311 and attend the city council meeting in Buckingham sector to demand action. Gatineau SANS pesticides is on Facebook and there is an online petition: https://chng.it/C4mQM6hnM4.