According to the London Free Press, mayor Anne Marie DeCicco and some members of city council are trying to pre-empt a perceived vulnerability on the subject of pesticides bans with a proposed law of their own before the upcoming November election, in response to Imagine London making it the centerpiece of their latest public incarnation as a municipal power-broker. The perception of vulnerability is a result of the activist group's recent political success with one willingly credulous unelected OMB member and the surfeit of unpaid advertising that sympathetic Free Press reporters have since provided to them. DeCicco and council's political vulnerability is real, but they fail to understand, however, that it does not hinge on the ambitions of a vocal but small activist group — no matter that group's accomplishments in undemocratic political arenas. But onward ho!
Leaders of a citizens' group that pushed through London's 14-ward map are focused on backing a single candidate in each ward who would ban pesticides and limit sprawl.
An exemption for golf courses, which spray far more pesticides over more time and a greater area than any homeowner, begs the question of council: are pesticides harmful or not? Arbitary dispensation of the question based not on people but economic interests betrays the political motivations behind the ban — which is as much as can be expected from ban proponents who must resort to substituting emotion and hearsay for objective facts in their defense:
Londoners will again get a chance to discuss a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides May 29 at Centennial Hall. City council's environment and transportation committee approved the meeting date last night, along with a proposed bylaw that includes elements of those approved in Toronto and Peterborough, which allows exemptions for golf courses and farming.
Get back to us when you have something substantial to say on the subject of very real and concrete restraints on other people's property and livelihoods.
Coun. David Winninger and others gave impassioned arguments supporting a ban. Winninger said the reason there's no scientific proof pesticides pose a health threat is because they may be tested only on animals.
Imagine London is now a celebrated group of disaffected social activists that describe themselves as a "coalition of civic, neighborhood, labor, environmental, and student leaders." As wideranging a collection of special interests such as this will not be satisfied with a pesticide ban, no matter how comprehensive. Having re-dissembled its public objectives once already, it will continue to do so after each success. But it has served at the very least as a bellwether — to distinguish between those who appropriate property rights and those who respect property rights. More from the London Free Press:
To those who value the imposition of obligations on others, something that has not yet been done will always remain something to be done. … For the, there will always be another absence of tyranny to incur their outrage — there will always remain something else to be done.
Free Press reporter Joe Belanger, who has before arrogated a great deal of editorial license with language to describe positions against pesticide bans, inserts the words "lobbyist" and "industry" to invite the reader to participate in the sophisticated and disabused cognoscenti's debasement of such artless economic activities — abandoning in the pretense the notion that anyone should have a legitimate interest in protecting their legal livelihood. And in any case one could not say, although discouraged already from thinking about it, that the lobbyists' efforts have been successful. So while the terms are technically correct, Belanger has yet to describe ban proponents with the same "lobbyist" crudity. Although an appetite for contempt dissuades one from recognizing it, Matsui is quite correct, and a link to his website now appears on the London Fog.
A lobbyist for the lawn-care industry announced yesterday a new website and an ad blitz urging voters to get involved or lose control of the city to a "small activist group."
As neither has DeCicco ever merited respect, although she may continue to hope — and with a third term approaching uncontested, her vapid conceits will likely continue to succour her through the cursory execution of her office. On rhetorical and moral grounds, Van Meerbergen scored two against none, but on the all-important scoreboard of London's decline DeCicco will probably carry the game.
The site focuses mainly on the issue of pesticides and property rights.
Coincidental? As coincidental as, say, the websites of Imagine London and the London Coalition Against Pesticides having once been hosted on the same domain?
Matsui said the website's focus on pesticides "will evolve" to include other issues as the election nears.
Update, April 28: From the London Free Press:
A campaign launched this week to fight a proposed ban on pesticides is swamping London city hall with hundreds of letters, faxes and phone calls. "It's just unbelievable, I never expected this," said Henry Valkenburg, president of Great Lakes Lawn Care.