UPA not happy with new pesticide measures
“The Agricultural producers of Quebec share the environmental concerns of their fellow citizens on the question of pesticides. Unfortunately, the measures announced today for the farm sector are deceptive and incomplete. The measures only increase the administrative requirements associated with pesticide use when farmers are already literally buried in paperwork. The Minister has opted for bureaucratic solutions that are disconnected from the reality on the ground,” said the president of the Union des Producteurs Agricole (UPA), Marcel Groleau, in reaction to the new Quebec Strategy on pesticides 2015 – 2018, announced on Sunday by the Minister of sustainable development and the environment, David Heurtel.
The new orientations aim to survey even more the use of pesticides, including reducing the use of riskier products, getting obligatory approval use from agronomists, and carrying out more preventive measures.
“To go further in the fight against pests, there must be investment in research, training, knowledge transfer, accompa- niment and, primarily, detection tools,” continued Mr. Groleau, adding that MAPAQ has allocated only $3.2 million a year for all of the measures related to the proper use of pesticides.
“To finance research and training, the Minister recommends waiting for the fees and the penalties imposed on producers who break the rules. Instead of accompanying them towards best practices, they will be penalized for not completing administrative measures. It’s not what I would call a step in the right direction,” said the president of the UPA. “In this sense, the smallest agricultural enterprises will be the target of choice because they don’t have the time or the means to deal with the ever constraining administrative requirements. It is not normal for farmers to spend more time in their offices than in their fields. Agronomists and environmental groups must be aware of this situation that they know well.”
Pesticides are very expensive and producers are interested in reducing their use. Quebec, when it comes to pesticide use, already
has the strictest rules in Canada: obligatory training for producers, management and storage rules, and distribution laws. The aim of pesticides is to control weeds and protect crops from insects and disease.
to Mr. Groleau: “We live in markets that are more and more open. Our international competitors, mostly American, who do not have such strict regulations, have an advantage over us. The governments of Quebec and Canada do not impose those regulations and norms on imported food. Are we doing everything to consume, in the end, more imported products?”
TheHaskell Free Library will be hosting a second exhibit of the work of Stanstead photographer Sharon Levin in its Reading Room throughout the month of December. The exhibit will feature a collection of photographs of holiday light decorations on homes in the Beebe sector of Stanstead.
“I just love the color of the lights at this time of year when it gets so cold and dark; I don’t think I could live without them!” said the photographer in an interview with the Stanstead Journal. Besides the challenge of keeping your hands and your camera warm during the process, photographing Christmas lights is, according to Sharon, “a perfect task for a camera.” One trick is to take the photos in the early evening light, before darkness sets in. “It made it so much fun to see all the differences between the houses,” she added.
The exhibit can be visited at the Haskell Library during the Library’s opening hours from December 1st to the end of December.
Holiday light decoration styles can be as varied as the houses that they grace as you will discover in the upcoming photograph exhibit at the Haskell Library.