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NDP ‘fear mongering,’ Liberal says


TRURO – Criticism by an NDP MLA over a request to spray a controversial herbicide over Nova Scotia forests is simply political posturing, a Liberal MLA says.

“This is nothing more than political opportunism and revisionist history on the part of the NDP,” said Joachim Stroink, regarding comments made by Truro Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River MLA Lenore Zann, the NDP’s environmental critic.

“When you look at its record in government, the NDP is an organization that has really lost its way on environmental issues,” Stroink said. “It’s disappointing to see the NDP fear mongering and misinforming Nova Scotians – it just isn’t responsible behaviour.”

Zann has expressed concern over applications by Northern Pulp to spray a herbicide containing glyphosate over more than 1,300 hectares of forest in Colchester and Halifax counties.

“Where was the concern from (the NDP) caucus when their own government was applying glyphosate on Crown lands,” Stroink said.

He said herbicide spraying has been authorized annually for nine years in Nova Scotia by governing parties of all three political parties, and between 2009 and 2013, the Dexter government approved glyphosate spraying by Northern Pulp on more than 6,300 hectares of provincial forest lands and 300 hectares of Crown land.

Stroink said both Zann and NDP leader Gary Burrill were members of the government caucus and were both “fully supportive” of the herbicide program.

Zann responded, however, she had no part in that decision.

“First of all, neither Gary nor myself were in cabinet during the Dexter years and it's a pretty well-known fact that a number of us around the caucus table disagreed with the premier and his advisors over a number of important issues – at times vociferously,” she said.

Zann said there is more information available on glyphosate now than during the Dexter years and it was only in 2015, two years after the NDP lost power, that the World Health Organization identified it as a “probable” human carcinogen.

She maintains other health issues have come to light, including the rise in allergies and chemical sensitivities.

“Commercial glyphosate is composed of a myriad of other chemicals all with the purpose of making the herbicide more easy to use.”

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry

 

 

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