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Community Right to Know E-Bulletin (March 2007)

Mar 2007

Suzuki's Visit


Dear TEA Members,

TEA's campaign for a Community Right-to-Know (CRTK) bylaw is gaining momentum! Now is the time to add your voice in support of your right to know about toxic chemicals in your community.

Influential environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki visited Toronto on February 15th and, along with TEA's Co-Executive Director Katrina Miller, met with Councillors and the Mayor to urge quick action on a CRTK bylaw. The city promised such a bylaw seven years ago, and still hasn't delivered.

Suzuki's visit found resonance in television, print and radio media, increasing public awareness of this bylaw to a level the City can't ignore. It's important we keep the ball rolling if we're to get action!

You can show your support by:

•    Sending a letter or email to the Mayor. A sample letter text is provided below, featuring the points we want to stress.  Feel free to use it, or draft your own letter based on the content. To send an email, visit:  <http://www.toronto.ca/mayor_miller/contact.htm>

•    Sending a letter or email to your Councillor, again using the text provided below. To find out who your Councillor is and contact information, visit:  <http://app.city.toronto.on.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp>

•    Passing this message on to environmentally conscious friends and talking with your neighbours.

•    Signing up for our CRTK e-mail bulletins, if you haven?t already. Visit:  <http://torontoenvironment.org/action>

•    Hosting a CRTK information meeting in your neighbourhood. For details call Lina Cino at 416-596-0660.

To find out more about CRTK and TEA's work in this area, visit:

<http://www.torontoenvironment.org/node/311>



Sample Letter for Mayor and/or City Councillors

Dear (insert name of Mayor or City Councillor):

Recently, Dr. David Suzuki and the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) met with Mayor Miller and a group of City Councillors to stress the need to clean up Toronto’s air. Dr. Suzuki strongly recommended the City’s Smog Plan include a Community Right to Know (CRTK) bylaw requiring industrial and commercial facilities to report their use and emissions of chemicals that pollute Toronto’s air.

In 2000, Council committed to such a bylaw in principle. Since then, reassurances have been made that the bylaw would be forthcoming. Today, seven years later, there has still been no action. As a concerned resident, I fully support the need to create a CRTK bylaw and expect my Mayor and City Councillor to do so as well. The time has come to act.

The chemical pollutants in question are toxic to humans, cause cancer, damage our reproductive and respiratory systems, and disrupt hormone balance and overall development of our children.  Beyond the human sphere, they are a threat to the animals and plants we share our living space with.  Over time, they accumulate in our environment, meaning their impact on generations to come may be even greater than it is today.

Research shows that less than 3% of facilities using or releasing toxic chemicals disclose their emissions to the public, meaning that 75% of industry emissions go unreported.  Reported information that is supposedly available to the public is often inconsistent, incomplete and difficult to access.

Our communities have a right to know about toxic pollutants affecting the space in which they live and work.  As a member of this community, I want my rights to be respected. Please confirm your support for this bylaw, and inform me when the Community Right to Know bylaw will be tabled before City Council.

Sincerely,

Your Name
A Concerned Resident