Letters to the editor – August 17, 2017

Bee health

Re: Bee controversy helpful, says U.S. honey official, Western Producer, July 27, 2017

Worry about pollinator health and pesticides is not warranted, despite what the American Honey Producers Association may say.

Bee health is impacted by a number of factors, including nutrition, weather conditions and beekeeping practices.

In fact, the main causes of colony losses during the 2015-16 winter were poor queens, varroa mites, weak colonies and weather conditions, according to Canadian beekeepers.

Canadian beekeepers, like Canadian farmers, produce some of the best products in the world. People should be confident consuming honey and other food produced by our hard-working farmers.

Before any pesticide can be sold in Canada, it must be approved by Health Canada. Canada’s regulatory process is stringent, world-renowned, and ensures all pesticides that are used in Canada are safe for both people and the environment.

Farmers choose to use neonicotinoid-treated seed because it is a safe and effective way to protect their crops while also minimizing exposures to beneficial insects like bees.

Just as we need bees, farmers need tools like pesticides to provide us with safe, high-quality foods while ensuring our environment is protected for future generations.

Pierre Petelle
President, CropLife Canada
Ottawa, Ont.

Weapon sales

U.S. President Donald Trump recently visited Saudi Arabia. While there, he appeared to be quite jubilant in holding the sword and dancing the “Ardah” with Saudi royals. They informed Trump that this was their war dance.

Trump responded by saying, “It is beautiful.”

Saudi Arabia sealed a $110 billion arms deal immediately, and a further $350 billion over 10 years. The  mass of Saudi’s budget is primarily used for military expenditures to expedite high value weapon sales with foreign countries including Canada ant the U.S.

It is very disturbing to note that Canada is involved with Saudi Arabia at all, considering that the Saudi’s have committed grave human rights violations in Yemen, which were exposed in Amnesty International’s 2017 annual report.

The Saudis used large bombs that were made in the U.S. and the U.K. The Yemenese people suffered extreme poverty, famine and deaths.

Peace loving citizens can never expect to have a truly peaceful world when political leaders allow  their citizens  to manufacture and sell weapons that are designed to kill human beings.

Canada could be a glowing example to everyone on this planet, if we did not allow any person or corporate interest to manufacture and sell weapons to Canadians in general or for export, that are designed to kill human beings.

The U.S. Congressional Research Service has stated that Canada is Number 6 in the world’s top weapons dealers. In that regard, it is not surprising that the U.S. is Canada’s biggest weapons customer.

Certainly, most Canadians would prefer that Canada would be acknowledged worldwide as being an example and leaders in a non-violent struggle to improve the living standard of all human beings that inhabit our planet Earth.

Leo Kurtenbach
Saskatoon, Sask


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