A protest group has added over 13,000 signatures to a petition started last year, doubling its total count and likely setting a record in the process.
Stop Spraying New Brunswick launched the petition in December 2015 calling for the province to stop the use of herbicide glyphosate and garnered around 1,100 names.
This past May they presented an additional 12,686 signatures to MLAs who tabled the petition.
Now another 13,439 have been added, bringing the total to 27,225, a number they say is the largest in New Brunswick history.
“When our catastrophic deer numbers were published after the hunting season that’s when the Stop Spraying thing just hit the roof,” explained Carolyn Lubbe-D’Arcy of Stop Spraying NB.
Green Party leader David Coon said the size of the petition should give government a reason to respond.
“Given that in total this is the biggest petition in New Brunswick history on any issue ever, the government is absolutely going to have to respond,” Coon said. “This movement isn’t going away, people are sick and tired of what’s going on on our crown lands. They’re sick and tired of the spraying of our hard woods, under power lines near their homes and farms.”
Over the summer the province’s acting chief medical officer reported that residents weren’t at an increased health risk due to the spraying of the herbicide.
Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle met with protesters outside the legislature but, citing studies conducted by the chief medical officer as well as the World Health Organization, he said the province will continue the use of glyphosate until they’re given sufficient reason not to.
“When you look at the science and facts we have to make our decision, at this point we don’t see the need to make any changes.”