David Suzuki pushes T.O. pollution bylaw
World-recognized environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki met with Toronto Mayor David Miller on Thursday to urge adoption of a bylaw requiring local industries to disclose their use and release of key pollutants.
Suzuki was supporting the 'Community Right to Know' bylaw being promoted by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). It would require industrial and commercial companies to report their use of chemicals that pollute the city's air.
Joined by members of the alliance, Suzuki urged Miller to consider the law and make Toronto the first in Canada to implement it.
"It's kind of a no-brainer that we need full public disclosure as to where and what the various contributors to the atmosphere are," Suzuki said after the meeting.
While automobile emissions are the first thing people consider when discussing air pollution, the local environmental group says 30 to 50 per cent is generated by industry and small businesses.
"It could be a local electroplater, for example, that could be a local dry cleaner, a print shop," TEA's Katrina Miller said. "That could be a larger facility such as the chemical manufacturers in Scarborough and Etobicoke."
Suzuki and TEA believe that disclosure would result in a big pollution reduction. They assert that 75 per cent of industrial polluters do not disclose their activities to the public.
The proposed bylaw is currently being looked at by Toronto Public Health. A report is expected to be released in the spring.
Toronto was one of 40 stops Suzuki will make in a 30-day, cross-Canada bus tour aimed at keeping climate change and the environment at the top of the political agenda.
He criticized federal opposition politicians for passing legislation forcing the government to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, saying it was unnecessary. Suzuki said Canada was already bound to comply because it is a Kyoto signatory.
The Harper government is hinting they will ignore the legislation even if it is passed by the Senate and given Royal assent.
But Suzuki said with all federal parties on the "green" bandwagon, he believes Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be "singing green" by the next election.
With a report from CTV's Desmond Brown and files from The Canadian Press