Calgary council votes down pesticide bylaw
Posted: December 9, 2009
Calgary city council Dec. 2 narrowly voted down a proposed pesticide bylaw aimed at limiting so-called non-essential or "cosmetic" pesticide use.
Based on media coverage, neither side in the debate felt they had won. Those opposing a by-law said they voted it down because the proposed by-law was essentially unenforceable the way it was written. And those favoring a bylaw, said they voted it down because it didn't go far enough in moving toward a ban.
CropLife Canada was an active player in the debate and may be able to take some credit for rallying stakeholders in support of voting the bylaw down. The group, which includes the manufacturers, developers and distributors of pest control products and plant biotechnology, is an advocate for science-based decision making and responsible use of pest control products.
One councilman sharing this view and strongly opposing the proposed bylaw from early stages, Joe Connelly, opined through his website that a continued focus on good integrated pest management (IPM) practices, rather than an additional layer of bureaucracy, should be Calgary's approach. "IPM uses the right amount of pesticide, at the right time, with the right tools," stated Connelly. "Now that is something we should all support."
GrowCanada conference: Time to seize opportunities
Posted: December 9, 2009
The inaugural GrowCanada conference, Dec. 2-4, in Calgary drew over 470 participants and featured leading speakers from Canada and around the world offering their perspectives on the opportunities that exist in agriculture.
A diverse speaker line up ranging from political and environmental leaders to captains of industry, along with standout science innovators and top agriculture sustainability advocates, provided a series of compelling portraits of a new world of agriculture and food rich in both potential and challenges.
On one hand, science and innovation have generated unprecedented possibilities to support sustainable agriculture, with strong progress underway on a number of fronts. On the other, there is tremendous urgency to apply those innovations and drive further progress in a world of rising population and environmental threat where more than 1 billion people face each day without enough to eat.
It's a world and era of large scale challenges to meet, observed Jim Wispinski, conference co-chair and president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc, in his introductory remarks at the conference. "I know that GrowCanada partners will agree with me when I say that seizing opportunities has never been more important for our industry."
Providing a focus to that rallying cry was the conference theme of "Sustainability, stewardship and innovation," identified by GrowCanada partners as the three critical foundations agriculture must build upon for the future. Participants included representation from many facets of the agriculture value chain and its partners, including everyone from farmers and farm organizations to industry, government, academia and beyond.
"Our world is moving at a rapid pace and it is more important than ever that we ensure that agriculture is meeting the needs of our worldwide challenges," stated conference co-chair Dave Sippell, president of Syngenta Seeds. "Our future prosperity depends on the entire agricultural value chain working together."
The GrowCanada conference was hosted by nine of Canada's leading agricultural organizations including BIOTECanada, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Horticultural Council, the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Canola Council of Canada, CropLife Canada, the Grain Growers of Canada and Pulse Canada.