Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Liberal Pile of Grit

Grant Lafleche wrote an article in the St. Catharines Standard, Jun.10, 2000, titled “The menacing haze: Niagara's dirty air is shortening our lives and hurting our children. It may also be killing our crops”:

“Most agree Niagara's air quality is poor. The disagreements come over what can be done about it locally.
Some, like St. Catharines MPP and Liberal environment critic Jim Bradley, want the Harris Tories to do more to clear the air.
"They can legislate things like the level of sulphur in gasoline ... and the emissions from power generation and industry," he said. "They could fund public transit. For every person that is on the bus, that is one less car on the road."
Bradley also wants the provincial government to fund a GO train between Niagara and Toronto to cut back on the number of cars on the QEW.”

It's amazing how when Jim Bradley was in opposition, the air in Ontario was bad: children were being ‘hurt’; our LIVES WERE BEING SHORTENED; ground level ozone was seeping into our “increasingly toxic air” and “pillaging” our “lungs and plants”….yet, Jim Bradley has now been in a majority government since 2003: so have all these dire problems outlined by LaFleche in 2000 SUDDENLY DISAPPEARED under Bradley in 2008 ?!

Amazingly, under the Liberals, now there’s no more ground level ozone? Children aren’t being ‘hurt’? The air isn’t “toxic”? Farm foliage crops are no longer exposed to ozone, “stunting their growth”? Smog, the “complicated chemical witches’ brew” has vanished? The coal-fired generators have ceased spewing their “ill wind”, as LaFleche wrote in this 2000 article?

It’s a miracle – under Jim Bradley, there’s no longer a “menacing haze” over Niagara; now we have Clean Air in Ontario, and all the reporters are happy! Not too many stories lately about how “the quality of the air is consistently bad” in Niagara under Jim Bradley’s Liberal government!

Bradley, in 2000, while in opposition, talked oh-so-earnestly about the government doing “more to clean the air”! Bradley said the government could “legislate” the “emissions from power generation and industry"! Yet Bradley’s government lied about closing all the coal-fired plants which they said they were going to close by 2007! To this day, Bradley and his Liberals have done nothing at all about even ameliorating those emissions, let alone stopping them!

Bradley -ironically now Transportation Minister - was saying then: "They could fund public transit. For every person that is on the bus, that is one less car on the road." Yet by 2008, Bradley's hollow Liberal rhetoric has brought no GO Transit buses to anyone in Niagara!

LaFleche wrote: “Bradley also wants the provincial government to fund a GO train between Niagara and Toronto to cut back on the number of cars on the QEW”.

How many years has Bradley got out of that blustery little chestnut? So, where’s the “GO train” now in 2008, Mr. Bradley? Where’s that GO TRAIN funding, Mr. Bradley, from YOUR Liberal provincial government, which would “cut back on the number of cars on the QEW”?

What a pile of….

Which brings me to this article by Ted Woloshyn (Toronto Sun, Feb.9, 2008) titled “New law a pile of fertilizer. Ban on pesticides hits a harmless herbicide – and allergy sufferers will pay the price”:

“The Ontario government is on the verge of banning the cosmetic use of pesticides for lawns. Many people are applauding the measure, set to impact lawns, gardens, schoolyards and parks. But this legislation is flawed.

Let me explain why.

The government wants to ban pesticides, which is a blanket term covering fungicides, insecticides, and most importantly for the purposes of this story, herbicides.

One of those herbicides is 2,4-D. It is a broadleaf weed killer and has been cleared by Health Canada, the World Health Organization, the New Zealand Pesticides Board, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to name a few -- as long as directions are followed.

You should also follow directions on bottles of bleach, and turpentine, to new name just a few household products. This isn't a new concept.

In September 2003, documents show the government of Quebec knew there was no scientific basis to support the banning of 2,4-D. "Certain herbicides in Schedule 1 (2,4-D, MCPA, Mecoprop) cannot be prohibited on a scientific basis (carcinogenic risk and others)," a report stated. And yet they banned it. But why? Because environmental groups would have seen retaining the herbicide as a step backward.

Now if 2,4-D is to be banned due to health risk, shouldn't that same ban cover agriculture?
"It is the same stuff our farmers have been using on our food since the 1940s. How can it be safe to eat, but not to walk on?" said Jill Fairbrother, director of registration and stakeholder relations for Scott's Canada. "It's based on fear. Every piece of junk science is repeated as true.""
Woloshyn writes: “The British Columbia Ministry of Forests has stated "2,4-D is possibly the most extensively researched off all pesticides, and the data have been examined by an unusual number of advisory committees and work groups. All have concluded it does not present an unacceptable risk when used according to product instructions."

Ask your MPP, or activist friend if he or she supports this cosmetic ban. Then ask if they know anything about 2,4-D. If they don't, then ask yourself why you're paying attention to them.”

Well, seeing that my MPP, Jim Bradley, was at one time the celebrated Minister of the Environment, admired by the likes of David Suzuki, perhaps Jim Bradley would provide detailed reasons for his government’s decision to implement this ban.

Do you support this herbicide ban, Mr. Bradley, and can you explain why?

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