To mark the beginning of the annual herbicide spray season, Stop Spraying New Brunswick Inc. released a report card on the performance of the four political parties in the 59th legislature.
“We want obviously no herbicide spraying on public land which includes on our crown forests and by NB Power so we stand by our mandate and we certainly think it’s crazy that taxpayers are paying for this,” said Dr. Caroline Lubbe D’Arcy, the chair of Stop Spraying NB.
On the Stop Spraying NB report card each political party got an F on ban of use, but for effort towards change in regulation the pc’s got a b-, green party a b+, people’s alliance got a d- and the liberals received an F.
Liberal leader Kevin Vickers has called on government to convene a panel of experts to start looking at alternatives, in a statement he said:
“We need to begin to explore ways to manage our Province’s vast forests without the use of these chemicals, the safety of which has been called into question,” Liberal leader Kevin Vickers.
But the environmental group has little confidence in the Liberal party.
“We can’t count on the Liberal party but we can count on I would hope the other 6 MLA’s that are working for the Greens and for the PANB because they have told us time and time again they are opposed to spraying,” said Lubbe D’Arcy.
The PC party had a 30% reduction in spraying since taking power, but the group says that’s just a drop in the bucket. They want the pc’s to follow Quebec’s lead, the province stopped issuing permits to spray the chemical in 2001.
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The green party says while they alone do not have the power to put a ban into effect, they have been lobbying for change.
“We need the other parties to come on board with us and push for this glyphosate ban that New Brunswickers have been asking for,” said Kevin Arseneau a Green Party MLA.
Going forward Stop Spraying NB Inc. wants New Brunswickers to put pressure on the government to end spraying, citing a decline in the province’s deer population and an economic cost of more than two million dollars a year.