Port Coquitlam finally got its summer, although it didn’t start until August this year; I don’t think I hauled out the garden-hose more than a dozen times all year, so rainy and cool was our spring and summer. None-the-less, it would have to be counted amongst the good years; the only sign of drought is what we’re experiencing now, in the first week of September – soon to pass – so most gardens have done well, on balance. This compares with the rest of Canada and the continent, particularly the south and east coast, where they suffered through extreme temperatures and low rainfall, difficult conditions for gardeners.

In light of Port Coquitlam’s recent ban on cosmetic herbicides I’ve been hand-weeding the paving stones in my garden, about 500 sq. ft., and it has not been as horrendous a chore as I feared it might be; it only must be attended to more often during the summer than my previous regime of a squirt of Roundup twice a season, so it looks as though it will be a workable solution. I think the ban is a good idea – anything that will remove these powerful chemicals from our environment is worthwhile as our present knowledge of their harmful effects seems entirely negative and the as-yet unknown effects are likely to be the same, or perhaps worse. I would like to see our local municipal governments lobby the provincial authorities to make the ban province-wide, using provincial legislation, so that the use of herbicides and pesticides is not a municipal patchwork solution, but rather, one that controls these chemicals in the same manner throughout the province. It should also encompass our industrial and commercial properties; more importantly, it should also apply to the agricultural sector; why have a ban on these harmful and suspect chemicals in our general environment yet still permit them to be sprayed on our food? There is a serious lapse in logic there. Corporations and their mouthpieces – they are many and varied – will decry those recommendations, but consider their biases before you consider their words.

Jim Thorleifson