Georgian Bay council has asked staff to report back on if they’re able to ban the aerial spraying of lymantria dispar dispar (LDD) – also known as gypsy moths.

Councillor Allan Hazelton noted the province controls all aspects of pesticide use, pointing to the province’s Pesticide Act that was passed in 2009.  

He suggested council get legal advice before moving forward. 

Council later unanimously passed a motion to have staff report back on whether or not council has the authority to ban aerial spraying and regulation of pesticides. The motion also called on staff to detail the impacts spraying has on pollinators. 

Hazelton pointed out staff should make sure the other side is included in their report, adding he believes there’s a “misunderstanding” with some aspects of aerial spraying. He told council he’s heard concerns from some about the spray drafting, but defended the companies that do it explaining they have “well structured” plans in place to ensure that doesn’t happen. Since the province handles pesticide regulation, he says the companies are watched closely. 

He estimated that over 1,000 properties in the township are interested in aerial spraying, later saying there’s an “enormous amount” of residents who are fed up with the damage LDD cause.

Councillor Brian Bochek is the one that brought this motion forward, saying during the meeting that he was elected on the back of being for protecting the environment. “I’ve been very clear that I’m not in favour of it,” he said. 

The township’s Director of Sustainability Jennifer Schnier said this is also a good opportunity for council to educate people on the pros and cons of aerial spraying.