Spraying for the European gypsy moths in one area of Campbell River is currently planned for this spring, but there has been mounting opposition to that plan. An information session is now planned for April 10 at the Sportsplex. Photo by Marian Goldsmith/Used Under Common License

Open house on Campbell River gypsy moth spraying scheduled

Ministry reps and other experts will be on hand at the Sportsplex April 10 to answer questions

A date has been set for the public information session promised by the provincial government on the proposed spraying for gypsy moths scheduled for this spring in Campbell River.

The meeting will be held on April 10, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Campbell River Sportsplex, SP Room 2, 1800 S. Alder St.

Members of the B.C. Gypsy Moth Technical Advisory Committee will be joined by representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as other experts, to answer questions and provide information about the proposed ground spray, according to the release on the meeting.

And it’s a safe bet they will have an attentive audience.

Ever since the proposed treatment was announced in January, the city has been encouraged by various groups and citizens to step up and say no to the plan.

First, members of the Campbell River Environmental Committee (CREC) attended council to call on them to refuse to allow the province to spray the area, saying that unless there is proof the treatment is harmless, it should not be allowed to take place.

CREC cites various fact sheets and studies on their website (PDF) that illustrate the need for further study and transparency surrounding what chemicals are contained in the treatment, as many are undisclosed.

The Campbell River chapter of the Council of Canadians added their collective voice to the opposition a few weeks later, suggesting that baiting and trapping the moths would be just as effective, without exposing the public to potentially dangerous chemicals.

The province says that trapping and monitoring results over the past two years indicate a growing gypsy moth population in the proposed treatment area – 45 hectares of residential land in Campbell River located around the intersection of Rockland Road and Alder Street South – “and if left untreated, the moth could spread to new areas of the province through vehicles, containers, rail cars and marine vessels, and lead to quarantines which would impact agricultural and horticultural businesses in the area.”