Tracadie-Sheila looking at by-law to ban glyphosate

Tracadie-Sheila town council is considering a by-law to ban the use of glyphosate within the municipality, Radio-Canada reports.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicides Vision, Vision Max and Forza, which are widely used by forestry companies on New Brunswick’s Crown forest.

Radio-Canada reports that Tracadie-Sheila is looking at banning the chemical, prompting questions over whether municipalities have the legal jurisdiction to prohibit the use of chemicals such as glyphosate.

André Daigle, a lawyer well-versed in municipal law and land-use planning, told Radio-Canada that there is a legal precedent for Tracadie-Sheila’s by-law.

Daigle said the Community Planning Act gives municipalities the power to regulate pollution through its municipal plan and zoning by-laws, citing a Supreme Court of Canada decision (Canada Ltee (Spraytech, Societe d’arrosage), et al. v. Town of Hudson, 2001) that upheld the right of municipalities to restrict the use of pesticides to protect citizens’ health.

Meanwhile, another community in the Acadian Peninsula is throwing its support behind a petition to ban the use of glyphosate.

After meeting with forest activist Armédée Boucher, the mayor of Paquetville, Luc Robichaud, wrote to Boucher on June 22, 2017 that the village supports his petition to stop glyphosate spraying, citing the chemical’s links to cancer, the importance of a healthy forest to the northern N.B. economy, the impact spraying has on the maple syrup industry, the damage spraying causes to wildlife and the diversity of life in the natural, mixed Acadian forest, and how glyphosate kills the hardwoods relied upon by deer and other forest animals for food. While the village stopped short of introducing a by-law to ban glyphosate, most members of the town council signed Boucher’s petition.

The Saint-Quentin Chamber of Commerce also supports the petition, passing a resolution on July 7, 2018 to support Boucher’s call for an end to spraying on Crown forest, citing many of the same reasons as Paquetville.

If Tracadie-Sheila proceeds with a by-law, it would be the first case of a municipality in New Brunswick acting to protect its citizens and economy from the spraying of glyphosate, opening the door for more villages and towns to follow suit.

We’ll bring you more on this story as it develops.

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