Fredericton — The Government of New Brunswick’s climate change and environmental stewardship committee met recently to discuss how it plans to address the use of glyphosate spraying in the province.
The herbicide used in forestry and agriculture is a concern for many New Brunswickers, as it may or may not be a harmful substance.
“We want to be transparent about progress on environmental issues that matter to the public, so going forward, we want everyone to know that all glyphosate sprays in the province will contain an equal measure of essential oils,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Jeff Carr.
When asked how this would affect health risks, Carr was clear: “It won’t decrease the risk, but it will decrease the perception of the risk, and that’s important. Basically, the oils will make the pesticides smell better, and that should take people’s minds off the whole bad-for-your-health thing.”
Carr went on to describe how certain essential oils could even improve the taste of local fruits and vegetables.
“Fiddleheads infused with lavender oil, for example, could add an exotic element to home cooking,” he said. “This new flavouring would wear off, however, if you wash the produce, so I would discourage anyone from washing their vegetables and fruit once the new oils are introduced — unless, of course, they want to go back to plain, regular-tasting food.”
When The Manatee contacted a member of the Green Party for comment, his view on the topic remained inconclusive. “C’est le stratagème le plus ridicule jamais sorti de ce gouvernement. Je suis gêné pour notre province et inquiet pour la santé de notre population,” said Kevin Arseneau, MLA for Kent North.
Our translation team spent all night trying to interpret Mr. Arseneau’s comment. All our reporters are graduates of New Brunswick’s French immersion program, but for unknown reasons could not agree on an interpretation. “He’s clearly ecstatic that someone is finally taking environmental issues seriously,” said staffer Buckley Davidson. “He finally feels ‘un quiet’ now that saving the planet is a priority in the province.”
“I completely disagree,” said Lyndsee Cormier, one of 12 interpreters on staff. “I know the word S-T-R-A-T-A-G-È-M-E is a word from the old French, like from before the 1980s, and it means ‘trickery’ — he thinks the government is trying to trick people.”
The bickering continues around the Manatee office this morning and we will likely never know what Arseneau really said, but the introduction of essential oils into glyphosate spraying is certainly an innovation for the province, one that that Premier Blaine Higgs is excited about.
“This could solve a lot of our problems,” said Higgs. “We’ve been trying to get the stink out of Saint John for years. By simply spraying forests near Saint John with rose-oil glyphosate, for example, we could not only cover the stench, but also increase our tourism revenue.”
The new essential oil herbicide sprays are expected to be introduced in March, when most MLAs will be headed south for spring vacations.