Kanata North is fortunate to be home to some significant wetlands, as well as the South March Highlands and Trillium Woods. The high water table and the flat topography of our community unfortunately, creates a haven for mosquito reproduction. In fact, we have 44 different species of mosquitoes.
In response to this issue, our current Councillor Marianne Wilkinson conducted a vote in the winter of 2016 to introduce a pilot project. Our community had the opportunity to vote for or against the treatment program, which cost the average household approximately $19 annually. This program, the Kanata North Nuisance Mosquito Control Program, targets mosquito larva found in our wetlands to prevent hatching. This small, localized, program was approved for four years from 2016 to 2019. It also contains provisions for research to be conducted over the first three years.
Is it one hundred percent effective? No, it isn’t.
Is it reducing the mosquito population by 80% as per the target of the program? The research will tell us this.
After speaking with thousands of residents and walking every single street in Kanata North this summer, I understand the scope of the problem and that a very clear majority want this program to continue.
My commitments as your Councillor is to:
- Share with you the research and the findings from the first three years of the program and provide a forum for discussing these results.
- Seek city support and funding to continue this program moving forward past 2019.
- If unsuccessful in securing city funding, I will bring the program to you for a vote. I will ensure a robust communication campaign so that all households are reached and have the opportunity to participate in the vote.
- If we move forward, I will seek the best possible solution ensuring we learn from the pilot program and we enhance the effectiveness of the program.
Although typically mosquitoes are considered simply a nuisance, the spread of West Nile virus in Ontario is concerning. Last year there were 20 confirmed or probable human cases of West Nile in Ottawa, and 147 in the province. The infestation is definitely worse in Kanata Lakes and Arcadia, however, it is an issue affecting all of Kanata North. An effective program that reduces the health risk and enables us to enjoy our backyards is needed.
Kanata North's mosquito problem is not going to go away. Spraying and other efforts to control the problem may need to be an ongoing effort during the spring and summer. As your councillor, I believe that the City of Ottawa needs to be responsible for funding these efforts. I believe the research will show the gravity of the unique problem we face. Public health, ongoing development requiring storm ponds in our community, and maintaining Kanata North's recreation areas such as the South March Highlands are municipal issues and responsibilities of the city.
It would be my pleasure to work on this if I earn your support to serve as your City Councillor.