Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Toxic Partners Letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne

Resource Type: 
Submission / Letter

Dear Premier Wynne:

The Ontario Toxics Reduction Working Group offers its congratulations on your recent election victory. Our Working Group includes representation from the health, environment and labour sectors, and we welcome opportunities to assist the government in achieving its environmental and health agenda, including actions that would better inform Ontarians about their exposures to toxic substances and also reduce those exposures. The Ontario government has already taken a number of measures to reduce exposures to toxic substances, including the Toxics Reduction Act (TRA) and the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act. Individually and collectively, our members and partners worked with government to develop and promote this legislation. We are working to help realize its full potential.

We believe your government is on the right track with commitments made in your election platform regarding the public's right to know about toxic substances. In your response to the Ontario Priorities Group questionnaire, you stated that “If given another mandate, we will work with business and industry to find ways to provide Ontarians with better information about chemicals linked with cancer... As part of this effort, we will explore whether Ontario should enact Section 50.(1)(o.2) [of the Toxics Use Reduction Act] regarding providing notice to the public if a product contains a substance deemed toxic.”

This commitment is strongly supported by Ontario citizens and polling conducted in 2008 and in 2014 by the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division), found Ontarians continue to rate the 'right to know' as important to them. Disclosing information about toxic substances in facilities is also a powerful incentive to reduce toxics exposures. The TRA, when fully implemented, will be a powerful tool towards the public's right to know, and we support the government in developing approaches that will assist industry efforts to reduce the use and release of toxic substances.

Premier, we are eager to continue and strengthen our collaboration with the Ontario government, and would like to request a meeting with you as soon as possible. The purpose of this meeting would be to discuss additional ways to reduce the public's exposure to toxic substances, to enhance the public's right to know and to promote the adoption of greener technologies to keep Ontario strong, green and clean.

We look forward to working with you and your team to help develop winning strategies on toxics reduction – for the health of Ontarians, the health of our communities and environment, and the economic vitality of business.

Sincerely,

Rowena Pinto, Vice President
Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division

Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel
Canadian Environmental Law Association

Beverley Thorpe, Consulting Co-Director
Clean Production Action

Elaine MacDonald, P.Eng., PhD
Senior Scientist
Ecojustice

Tim Gray, Executive Director
Environmental Defence

Pegeen Walsh, Executive Director
Ontario Public Health Association

Doris Grinspun, RN, MSN, PhD, LLD(hon), O.ONT.
Chief Executive Officer
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario

Sarah Miller, Co-Chair
Occupational & Environmental Working Group

Heather Marshall,
DeTOx Toronto Campaigner
Toronto Environmental Alliance

Dr. David McKeown
Medical Officer of Health
Toronto Public Health

Ken Bondy, National Coordinator
Health – Safety – Environment
Unifor

cc:
Hon. Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Hon. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Hon. Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour
Dr. Graham Pollett, Interim Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario

Ontario Toxics Reduction Working Group Members

Health
Canadian Cancer Society (ON Division)
Ontario Public Health Association
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario
Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition
Toronto Public Health

Environment
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Clean Production Action
Ecojustice
Environmental Defence
Environmental Defence
Toronto Public Health
Toronto Environmental Alliance

Labour
Unifor

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