Oak Bay pesticide regulations confusing

Reader believes he is breaking bylaw as it's written

When Oak Bay council was discussing a petition to ban the use of cosmetic pesticides I did not attend the meetings, reckoning that the proposal was being pushed by a group of organic gardeners wishing to forbid the use of persistent chemicals.

I was OK with this. In any case, the sale of persistent substances is already banned federally and the list includes DDT and the organophospates referred to by Ann Kuczpera In her Sept. 7 letter.

I deal with minor problems in my garden using traditional remedies such as Bordeau mixture, flowers of sulphur, pyrethrum spray and a spade.

Last year my tomatoes got late blight which was a disaster and to avoid a repeat this year I have given the plants a light preventive spray of Bordeau mixture. Reading the instructions I noticed that the product had a PCP number. These numbers are given under the federal Pesticides Act and warrant that the product is safe and effective for the stated use. This is reassuring.

Unfortunately the regulations issued by Oak Bay council define a banned substance as any product given a PCP number. In other words anything that works is forbidden. Included in the forbidden list are traditional remedies used for centuries and commonly used by organic gardeners. Sulphur and pyrethrum, both regarded as natural, are issued PCP numbers.

Was the purpose of the original petitioners to ban organic gardening or is this an accidental result of the way the regulations were drawn up?

At the moment I am breaking the law and would like council to revisit the regulations.

Joe Harvey

Oak Bay