DATE : For immediate release July 1, 2006
TEXT: Monsanto herbicide sales expected to decline in Northern Ontario if injunctions preventing herbicide application continue.
On April 3, 2006 Joel Theriault requested of the Ministry of Environment an individual environmental assessment of portions the Superior Martel 2006 - 2026 forest management plan. Herbicide usage was among the offending activities. It was requested that no herbicides be applied within 8km of the following waterbodies, upon which the Theriault family operates tourism camps.
Bonar Lake, Nemegosenda Lake and River, Kapuskasing Lake
It was also requested that no herbicides be applied within 2km of all streams and rivers feeding into these systems in order to prevent herbicide contamination from upstream sources. Furthermore, it was requested that no herbicides be applied onto any bear management area's operated by Air Ivanhoe, with a 2km buffer around these bear management areas.
Tembec is prohibited from applying herbicides in the affected zone while the case is under review. The map prepared by Tembec detailing the herbicide prohibition zone can be viewed at the following web address:
On June 7, 2006 Joel Theriault submitted 3 requests to the Ministry of Environment for individual environmental assessments of the Pineland 2006 - 2026 forest management plan. Herbicide usage was among the offending activities.
Domtar is prohibited from applying herbicides to the entire Pineland forest while the case is under review.
The requests to prohibit herbicide usage were based on two theories regarding the consumption of wildlife. One set of requests was made on behalf of two tourist operators in that if the fish and wildlife became contaminated with chemical pollutants, the tourism industry of the area dependent on fishing and hunting would be destroyed. Another request was made on behalf of several aboriginal and metis individuals in the Town of Foleyet. The courts indicate that Metis and Aboriginal peoples have the right to fish and hunt (R. v. Powley). However, this right would be useless should the fish and wildlife become unfit for human consumption due to chemical contamination.
In regards to herbicide usage, the medical community has firmly united against the use of these chemicals citing human health and environmental concerns. Using these chemicals thus seems to be contrary to the fiduciary duty owed by the federal government to the Metis and Aboriginals of northern Ontario. Furthermore, the infringement cannot be justified as minimally impairing the right as the province of Quebec has (since 2001) entirely banned the use of these chemicals in their forestry program.
In addition to protecting the edibility of wildlife, this herbicide prohibition will significantly enhance source water protection for residents of Chapleau and Foleyet (and all other communities downstream of this watershed).
"The forestry industry tells us that its impossible for the herbicides they use to end up in the water. However, an individual from Cochrane indicated at the Northwatch presentation (June 16, 2006) that glyphosate was in their water system. Studies from the U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program indicate that glyphosate is being found in US streams. What's more troubling is that Susan Pickering, speaking on behalf of the forestry industry at the Northwatch presentation, indicated that Tembec had NEVER sampled the water to determine whether herbicides were in fact contaminating our waterways. How can the forestry industry say with certainty that these chemicals aren't in our tap water if they're not testing the waterways after herbicide application?," said Joel Theriault.
Schribner, E.A. 2003. Reconnaissance data for glyphosate, other selected herbicides, their degradation products, and antibiotics in 51 streams in nine midwestern states, 2002. U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. Report 03-217.
Effort is being taken to ensure that the herbicide prohibitions remains in effect, regardless of the decision made by the Ministry of Environment.
Contact Information : Joel Theriault
P.O. Box 99