Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Action Alert: Last Minute Call 24 Hours to Improve Toxics Law

Action Alert Last Minute Call: 24 Hours to Improve Toxics Law

 

May 22, 2009

 

Ontario is on the verge of passing Bill 167, the Toxics Reduction Act. However, the current version of the Bill is disappointing and delivers little upfront. There’s still time for the significant amendments that are needed. Monday, May 25 at 5 pm is the deadline to submit comments to the Legislative Standing Committee that is now considering the Bill. You can still influence the legislation and make it as strong as it can be, but time is short. Please act NOW. Below we tell you how.

 

Background

Bill 167,the Toxics Reduction Act, has the potential to dramatically increase public knowledge about toxics in the environment, in the workplace, and in consumer products. It could also sharply reduce exposure to toxics, and this is important because Ontario is one of the very worst releasers of toxics in North America. As RNs we know that exposure to toxics is associated with many different illnesses and our greatest concern is for children.  These illnesses include: cancer; learning, developmental and behavioural disabilities; impaired endocrine function; birth defects; and respiratory problems, such as asthma.

However, there are serious gaps in the legislation. It lacks any targets; it does not include mandatory substitution of safer chemicals; it lacks a funding mechanism for the capacity-building institutions required; it does not establish a toxics use reduction institute of the type that enabled the success of similar legislation in Massachusetts; and it excludes too many emitters (due to exclusion of many toxics, exclusion of all but the biggest emitters and exclusion of many industries).

Now is the time to make Bill 167 achieve its potential and dramatically change the way toxics are handled in Ontario, for the sake of our health and future generations. Ontarians overwhelmingly support strong action to reduce toxics, but the law, as now worded, falls short. RNs can make a difference. Now is the time for RNs to speak loudly with one voice for strong toxics reduction legislation.. 

Here’s what you can do.

 

Last Minute Call: 24 Hours to Improve Toxics Law

Please send a message BEFORE THE DEADLINE OF 5 PM MONDAY MAY 25 to members of the Standing Committee on General Government, applauding them for acting to reduce toxics in our environment and urging them to strengthen Bill 167, the Toxics Reduction Act.  Simply go to the message below and personalize the letter as you like, and send. If you are a nursing student, please indicate it on the letter. THANK YOU!!!

 

For any questions about this alert, please contact Kim Jarvi at kjarvi@rnao.org or 416-408-5614.

For RNAO’s submission to the Standing Committee on General Government and speaking notes, see this link

For RNAO’s initial media release on the Bill and for a joint release with partners, see this link.

For the Canadian Cancer Society’s poll on Ontarians’ attitudes towards toxics reduction, see this link.

 

 

 

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