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City releases new draft plan that gives public right to know who pollutes

January 7, 2008

(Toronto) Today, a major environmental initiative takes a significant step forward at City Hall as Toronto Public Health released a draft plan that will make up the Community Right to Know (CRTK) bylaw.

“In an era of massive chemical use and exposure the City of Toronto has taken the lead and is on the verge of a significant breakthrough, “says Lina Cino, Toxics Campaigner of the Toronto Environmental Alliance. “It will become the first Canadian city to provide its citizens with powerful tools to make their neighbourhoods and families safer and healthier.”

Earlier today, Toronto Public Health posted an online draft plan for the proposed environmental reporting and disclosure program which would require businesses to report the use and emissions on 25 priority chemicals. These chemicals occur in the Toronto environment at levels that pose a risk to health. They include cancer causing chemicals such as cadmium, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. The draft plan will be open to formal feedback and comments for 30 days. Link: http://www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/enviro_info.htm

“We urge all Torontonians to tell the City they love the plan,” said Cino. “Visit the site and then call your Councillor and tell them you support speedy passage of the CRTK bylaw when it comes to City Council in early summer.”

CRTK laws in U.S. jurisdictions have led to better business practices and economic savings while better protecting neighbourhoods and workers from undue risk.

Having received unanimous support through two rounds of debate at City Hall the initiative is set to head to Council by early summer.

The demand for the bylaw has been demonstrated by the award winning website www.secrecyistoxic.ca created by concerned citizens, engaged businesses, and the Toronto Environmental Alliance. The website tracks the toxic concerns and environmental worries in local neighbourhoods. While no substitute for a comprehensive CRTK bylaw, this website provides an indication of what will be accomplished when Council formally endorses the initiative.


For more information please contact: Lina Cino, Toxics Campaigner, 416-596-0660