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City council urged to ban chemicals in Parksville

Kathleen Falvais says she awoke one morning in July to a strange, chemical odour creeping through a window of her residence in Parksville.

She's managed to get her strata to discontinue the use of what she says are carcinigenic weed control products and she was at city council Monday night, pleading with the city to impose a community-wide ban.

"These chemicals have been banned in most of Canada," Falvais said of products like 2-4-D, Dicamba and Mecrocrop. "The City of Parksville is missing from that list."

Falvais said the products, and the run off that heads toward the ocean after a rain, pose a risk to children and wildlife in the city.

"Why subject the fish and clams and starfish to this lethal cocktail?" she said. "Children play on lawns and put things in their mouths. (With a ban) the most vulnerable people in our society will be protected."

Communities surrounding Parksville like Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach banned the use of these substances, said Falvais.

Council directed staff to produce a report on the ramifications, if any, and the costs of banning the products and told Falvais they would bring that report to a future council meeting for a possible decision.

Briefly, in other city council news from Monday night:

• The Parksville Lawn Bowling Club was granted a 100 per cent exemption to property taxes. Under a newly-adopted policy, groups like the lawn bowling club and curling club had their traditional 100 per cent exemptions cut to 50 per cent. However, the lawn bowling's lease with the city specifically mentions the club's 100 per cent exemption.

• Council will send a "no objections" notice to the provincial liquor board related to the curling club's request for a temporary change to its liquor licence for special events.

• Council gave final approval to bylaws related to building height provisions in proximity to the rear lot line; and to a bylaw to address the accommodation of Health Canada-licensed medical marijuana facilities. Both bylaws were given final approval on a 4-1 vote, with Coun. Bill Neufeld opposed to both.

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