Opposed to spraying

Re: Aerial spraying to proceed (Castanet, May 11, 2024)

The B.C. Ministry of Forests is at it again, making decisions that could potentially impact our health.

Meanwhile, the rest of the provincial government demonstrates its complicity by allowing one ministry to override some of our most inherent rights, such as breathing clean air and avoiding exposure to toxins.

I am referring to the aerial spraying of Foray 48B in West Kelowna and other B.C. communities, a process that places private properties, people and pets under direct assault by an insecticide.

The ministry claims the deed is best performed at dawn, when fewer folks are out and about. But you're out of luck if you happen to be a morning person, on the balcony enjoying your cup of joe before going to work, or if you're the family dog outside in the yard that should be your safe zone.

In either of those cases, the ministry has made a decision on your behalf. If you are unlucky enough to live in the target area, or perhaps even in the buffer zone, you might get misted with a toxic cocktail. Let's hope you are not an asthmatic or someone with a compromised immune system. Additionally, there will always be people who might miss the advance warning to the neighbourhood and will inadvertently put themselves and their families and pets in harm's way.

The spray program has no leniency for such ignorance. In any case, the Ministry of Forests knows best—spongy moths are the enemy and your health has been banished to the back burner. End of discussion.

This statement from Darrell Le Houillier, panel chair of the Environmental Appeal Board, says it all:

"I conclude that there is likely some risk of generally mild and temporary symptoms affecting humans in the treatment areas, with a lesser risk of more serious or long-lasting effects."

Doesn't that make you feel so much better? There are publicized warnings about Foray 48B, which caution users to avoid direct contact with the product: We are told that Foray 48B should not be distributed around drains or waterways. Dare we wonder why?

But never mind. The B.C. Ministry of Forests knows what's good for you and your health - until the day that some courtroom decides otherwise. When that day comes, you (the taxpayer) will pay for the Ministry's defence.

There is no justification in jeopardizing the wellbeing of innocent lives. But it may take a tidal wave of protest from health professionals and the general public to influence those in power who think they can rise above basic human rights and set their own short-sighted agendas.

Sinikka Crosland, Salmon Arm

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