New pesticide plan for Gatineau
France Bélisle, mayor of Gatineau to launch the use of bio pesticides this summer much like other major Quebec cities.
The initiative which comes after cities such as Montreal, Quebec City and Laval have implemented pesticide use was announced during a press conference held on January 25 at l’Hotêl de Ville de Gatineau in la Maison du citoyen.
“We’re at the step of analysis and reflection which will be done by members of the commission on Thursday,” explained Bélisle who is also the co-president of Gatineau’s commission de l'environnement et de la lutte aux changements climatiques. “A decision by the members has already been made so now we can expect propositions of regulations and the collection of feedback.”
The plans will be centered around bio pesticides.
“There are two types of pesticides,” explains Daniel Feeny, Director of Communications and Intergovernmental Relations at the mayor’s cabinet. “There are aesthetic pesticides which are used to keep your grass green and then you have bio pesticides – the BTI is one of them for example and it permits us to control mosquitoes in certain areas of the city.”
BTI, a Latin term which stands for bacillus thuringiensis israelensis is a bacterium that can actively kill mosquitoes larvae found in water. The process is simple: each mosquito contains larvae which are miniature insects found in the gut, when larvae come in contact with BTI spores which release toxins in mosquitoes, the larvae stop eating and die.
While other synthetic pesticides such as atrazine, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate are banned in Quebec, BTI which targets mosquitoes, black flies and other dipterans is becoming more common in Canadian cities due to the fact that it cannot harm humans, pets, other animals or insects.
While the mayor hopes that “the use of pesticides should be effective starting this summer,” research still needs to be conducted.
“We have sent a letter to the Minister of Environment because we are waiting on a literature review which is centered around BTI. It is the Quebec government that must provide us information which will bring the science behind the utilization of pesticide up to date,” she said. “We’re asking the Minister of Environment to accelerate the literature review that we’re waiting for as it will permit Gatineau to position itself more clearly in this case.”
Once pesticides are in use there will be regulations surrounding which lands will be except from the use of BTI, this may include golf courses and agricultural proprieties.
As of right now, no dates concerning the launch of pesticides in Gatineau have been released, however the mayor seemed hopeful that it would only be a matter of time.
“There are already multiple other cities in Quebec that have done it,” she said. “We want to and we must act when it comes to pesticides.”