REID: Moth-spraying concerns come too late in Surrey and Delta

So, a petition has been launched and a rally has been held to protest the gypsy moth spraying that’s been going on in Cloverdale and Delta.

While everyone has a right to argue their concerns and speak out against what they see as wrong or harmful – in fact, we encourage it as a newspaper – it must be recognized that there is a venue and timeframe in which to do so in order to make change.

Last October, we ran a front-page story – an exclusive one, to boot – telling readers that a significant population of the invasive gypsy moth had been found in Surrey and the ministry planned to combat them by spraying pesticides from the air this spring.

We were expecting an onslaught of letters, both from concerned residents and from environmentalists.

Instead? Crickets.

Fast forward to March, when the first spraying commenced, and voila! People took notice.

The government insists the pesticide (Foray 48B) is safe, but a variety of residents are reporting they’ve experienced side effects. One resident told CTV News she took her son to the hospital after he developed an allergic reaction after playing outside. Another woman told Global News she has heaviness in her chest and has developed a cough since the spraying began.

Valid concerns – startling, to say the least. Heck, I live in the area and I have a friend who has had a terrible cough since about the time of the first spraying. He called me Tuesday morning as he stepped outside, just as the helicopter was flying overhead, and he felt nauseous shortly after.

But it seems the concerns may be coming too late.

Consider this: You own a home, and one day you notice a house being built right next door. It is going to block your windows and vegetable garden from the sun.

Are you angry? Of course you are, and rightfully so.

But you see, there’s a process through which you have to voice your concerns. For example, if you didn’t bother to go to the public hearing to oppose this new house from being built, how can you speak against it once the appropriate permits and zoning have been approved?

Well, you can. But you probably won’t get very far.

Such is the case with the gypsy moth spraying. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations got the permits it needed and posted notice in the local paper. They appeared before Surrey council months before the spraying began. It also held an open house in Surrey earlier this year.

Some of those complaining about the pesticide spray say the government didn’t to enough to communicate the plans. That’s why we, as journalists, also work hard to arm you with information. We get that people are busy. We are too and, after all, it’s easy to overlook things.

But this is a story we see play out over and over again. People don’t get upset until things directly affect them. But by then, unfortunately, it’s often too late.

Amy Reid is a reporter with the Now.

areid@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Surrey White Rock Ringette Association ‘excited’ about world championships coming to Lower Mainland

Ringette Canada says the sport has reached record registration numbers

After nearly 100 years in the field, Cloverdale farm recognized for agricultural leadership

Surrey Board of Trade awards Heppell’s Potato Corp with leadership award

Surrey Fire Chief says ‘reverse engineering’ fatal OD victims will help tackle crisis

Partnership between Surrey and Stats Canada a ‘social demography or experiment, of peeling the layers off the onion to understand what the root causes are’

First look at Cloverdale Athletic Park’s future field house

Field house part of $5.8-million revitalization project

‘Born for Greatness’ singer Flandez returns to Surrey for free Tree Lighting Festival

INTERVIEW: A ‘Riverdale’ connection for Richmond-based singer, who has performed here in the past

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

B.C. referendum ballot count jumps to 18% returned, Elections B.C. says

New count adds ballots received, but not screened for authenticity

Dead killer whale discovered on Nootka Island

“This is very concerning to our people.”

VIDEO: Protected bighorn sheep killed in B.C. Interior

The sheep are considered a species of concern because of their low population in B.C.

Most Read