January 20th, 2021

How clean is the environment that feeds us?

By Letter to the Editor on August 27, 2020.

It seems such a long time since we have heard anything positive from the Conservatives about the environment that you might think they have forgotten about the air we breathe and the water we drink. Not to mention the dirt that grows our food. Recently, my dog took a swim in an irrigation canal. She was sick for a week, odd-coloured material coming from both ends. Our vet couldn’t help.

I have made inquiries from anyone I think might have information about the chemical composition of the water that feeds the fields that feed us. Everyone seems to assume it should be clean and good. My normally happy and healthy dog would disagree. I am curious if there is any active monitoring of our water systems today. No one I know can tell me the volumes of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that are applied to local fields annually. I have read scientists testing the livers and flesh of fish, whales, and seals in the Arctic are amazed at the amount of chemicals that have accumulated in the top predators. One of the great river systems of North America flowing into the Arctic, the Mackenzie, carries chemicals from one of the heaviest industrial disturbed land in Canada. And the Saskatchewan system emptying into the Hudson Bay flows thousands of miles across our prairies.

A few years ago, our current premier was part of the Conservative federal cabinet that eliminated the largest collection of files from research on Canada’s Inland Lakes and River systems. They claimed that the years of collected research data would be available online. I have been searching, but seem unable to find this vast treasure. If there is anyone who can provide access to these eliminated studies, I would appreciate help.

Don Ryane


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“The synoptic survey highlighted the prevalence of 2,4-D at the whole watershed scale. Because 2,4-D use is expected to rise (Freydier and Lundgren 2016), the widespread occurrence of 2,4-D in southern Alberta rivers and streams should be taken into consideration for future pesticide monitoring programs. Several other herbicides with a similar mode of action to that of 2,4-D and relatively high water solubility have been detected frequently in this study, including dicamba, MCPA, mecoprop, and clopyralid. The environmental effect of mixtures of phenoxy herbicides remains largely unknown. Finally, further studies including year-round sampling of rivers, WWTP effluents, tributaries, stormwater, drinking water treatment plants, and atmospheric deposition should be considered to better understand the fate and transport of pesticides in natural, urban, and agricultural waters.”




once again, it is unreal the disrespect and disregard still too many have for the world that sustains our life forms. bad enough having idiots running amok; unacceptable that we have idiots running the show.