Kingston hotel manager convicted of using a prohibited pesticide

The Travelodge Hotel (also known as the LaSalle Hotel) on Princess Street in Kingston’s west end. Image via Google Maps 2024.

The manager of the Travelodge Hotel in Kingston — sometimes referred to as the LaSalle Hotel or the LaSalle Travelodge locally — has been convicted of using a prohibited pesticide on the hotel property.

According to an Ontario government court bulletin from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Peter J. Karkoulis was convicted of one violation (count) under the Pesticides Act, fined $2,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $500 and given one year to pay.

“The conviction is for using a pesticide on or over land which is prohibited for cosmetic purposes, namely 2,4-D,” the document reads.

“On May 14, 2021, ministry staff observed a sign posted on the lawn of the Travelodge Hotel in Kingston, indicating that a pesticide had been applied to the lawn. Vegetation on the lawn was exhibiting signs of distress and an odour was detected that was consistent with a broad-spectrum pesticide product.”

The province stated that Ministry staff returned to the site at 2360 Princess Street on several occasions and observed signs of progressive impacts to the vegetation on the lawn. As a result, vegetation samples were collected for further analysis.

According to the bulletin, a pesticides specialist with the ministry reviewed the lab results as well as photographs taken by the ministry and concluded the vegetation on the lawn of the Travelodge Hotel had been exposed to a chemical known as 2,4-D.

“2,4-D is a chemical found in pesticide products that is designed to control broad-leaved plants without impacting grasses. 2,4-D is not authorized for cosmetic use in Ontario,” the province stated.

In May 2021, Peter J. Karkoulis was the general manager of the Travelodge Hotel, and according to LinkedIn, he is still in that position. As such, the ministry contacted Karkoulis at the time, to inquire about the use of pesticide products on the lawn of the hotel.

Mr. Karkoulis confirmed he had personally applied a pesticide product to the lawn at the hotel using a sprayer device towed behind a lawn tractor, according to the bulletin.

The ministry’s Environmental Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges which resulted in the conviction on Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2024. The ministry’s court bulletin was published on Friday, May 10, 2024.

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