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Community Right to Know E-Bulletin (May 2008)

In This Issue:

1. Tell McGuinty Ontario Pesticide Ban should NOT weaken municipal bylaws
2. Community Right to Know (CRTK) Bylaw Update
3. Bisphenol A listed as ‘Dangerous Chemical’

Tell McGuinty Ontario Pesticide Ban should NOT weaken municipal laws

As you know, Ontario has introduced legislation to ban the use and sale of lawn and garden pesticides.  As part of the legislative process, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) is now inviting public comment on the draft bill.

Please send a quick comment to the Environment Ministry supporting the legislation and asking for some amendments to make it stronger.

Please click here for MOE comment page.

When you arrive at the Ministry website, fill in your contact information and then in the ‘Comments’ box please include the four points below:

1) I strongly support the ban on lawn pesticide use and sales.
2) The bill should let cities and towns enact bylaws that are even more health-protective than the provincial ban.

3) The bill should include an efficient process for adding new pesticides -- if they come on the market -- to the list of prohibited products.
4) The bill should ensure pesticides are permitted only to protect public health. They should not, for example, be allowed on golf courses.

The comment period ends May 22, 2008.

Community Right to Know (CRTK) Bylaw Update

First off, thanks to the many TEA supporters who submitted their comments to Toronto Public Health (TPH) during the public comment period in January/February.  TPH received over 500 personalized letters in support of the bylaw. It sent a powerful message to City Hall that when it comes to toxic chemicals in our neighbourhoods, residents want the right to know.

But our work isn’t finished yet…

This June, Toronto Public Health will report back to the Board of Health with a draft CRTK Bylaw an Implementation Plan. We expect the bylaw to be tabled and voted on at the July City Council.  We will need your continued support and voice to make this bylaw a reality. In particular, we need to let our City Councillors and the Mayor know that we expect them to support this precedent setting initiative in order to protect our health and to clean up our neighbourhoods.  Let your voice be heard.  Go to our campaign action page for all the details here.

Bisphenol A listed as ‘Toxic Substance’

This past April, in a precedent setting move, the federal government has announced it is taking steps to regulate bisphenol A (BPA). It is a chemical found in many everyday products including food cans, plastic water containers and baby bottles. Studies have linked low-dose BPA exposure with such effects as: permanent changes to genital tract; increase prostate weight; decline in testosterone; breast cells predisposed to cancer; prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer; and hyperactivity.

This is a powerful moment for environmental and health groups across the country and the world! Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, this announcement means that bisphenol A may be placed on the Toxic Substances List and the government can take various forms of action, such as regulations, guidelines or code of practice requirements, for any part of the chemical’s life-cycle.

Our good friends at Environmental Defence have been at the front lines of this campaign, for a detailed account about what this federal announcement means go to their website Q & A page here.

Thank you for your time.

Lina Cino
Toxics Campaigner
[email protected]

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