For immediate release
May 15, 2014
Guelph — Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario and candidate in Guelph, has called today for an immediate ban on the use of pesticides that kill bees.
“Bees don’t need us. But we need bees,” says Schreiner. “Our global food system — and therefore the global and local economy — can’t work without bees. It’s that simple.”
The food and farming sector in Ontario employs over 740,000 people and contributes over $40 billion to Ontario’s economy. There are just over 150 agricultural organizations and companies based in Guelph, employing over 6,500 people and contributing over $1.15 billion to the local economy.
“It is crazy to put our food supply and our local economy at risk by failing to protect bees,” says Schreiner. “I’m disappointed that the Liberal government is dragging its feet on taking action and the opposition parties seldom, if ever, talk about food security.”
We won’t have apples, almonds, bananas, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, pumpkins, strawberries, and tomatoes without pollinators such as bees.
“Without bees, growing strawberries gets a lot harder,” says Schreiner. “That’s not just a problem for the farmer. It’s a problem for the jam maker, the canning factory, the grocery store, the café on the corner, and the marketing company.”
The Green Party is calling on the government to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which scientists have blamed for colony collapse, until peer-reviewed scientific research can definitively determine that neonicotinoids do not harm bees.
Media contact: Candice Lepage