November 26, 2008
Many of you will have already supported Toronto’s community right-to-know bylaw at the Toronto Public Health level. Thanks to strong community support, the Toronto Board of Health voted unanimously to forward the bylaw to Toronto Council for its December 1 and 2 meeting. This is it!
The fundamental right to know about the poisons in our environment and workplaces is essential to protecting ourselves and the environment from toxic releases. Unfortunately we don’t even know about most of the chemicals to which we and our children are exposed under current legislation, because most of the information is not collected, let alone accessible. A major problem is that the vast majority of polluters do not have to report their emissions under existing federal regulation. Over a number of years, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has developed a community right-to-know program that would lower the reporting threshold to capture more polluters. The program would require reporting on use of toxics, as well as release. This program would be a significant step forward on community right to know, and would help to protect the health of people living and working in Toronto. It would also help to set a higher right-to-know standard which Ontario could model when it presents its own toxic use reduction legislation in 2009.
This will make the City of Toronto the first government to recognize that community right-to-know (CRTK) leads to health protection. CRTK has been in place for decades in progressive US jurisdictions. It has led to pollution prevention, transformation to green industries, improved emergency response, cost savings for businesses and avoided health costs.
To see RNAO’s June submission on Toronto’s community right-to-know program, see this link here . TPH documents on Toronto’s Environmental Reporting, Disclosure and Innovation Program can be seen here .
Please send an email urging your Councillor to vote YES to right to know.
And please forward this email to friends and family!
Here is an email sample letter that you can use, please click here .