2008 06 12
Toronto’s Smog-Related Deaths

The head of Ontario's opposition, Bob Runciman, released a report this week making some startling claims. When Premier Dalton McGuinty took office he promised that Ontario's reliance on coal generated power would end by 2007. One year later and it turns out not only are we still using coal, but as many as 9,500 Ontarians die each year from smog-related illnesses. If that figure were going down rather than up, we'd think that changes were being made for the better. In fact, smog-related deaths have gone up from 1,900 per year in 2003. "There are now more smog days per year in Ontario than in the entire eight years before the 2003," claims a report released by the Ontario Conservative Party (you know you've gone into some perverse alternate universe when the Ontario Torys are trying to lead the fight against pollution here).

To add insult to injury, Torontonians now have their very own power plant on the waterfront—something considered unimaginable ten years ago but now an almost belching fact. What is going on? Has anyone vetted these figures? Is there truth in what the Conservatives are claiming?

With a more positive spin to the story, http://www.modeshift.org writes:
Though Premier McGuinty succeeded in 2005 in closing the Lakeview coal-fired plant in Mississauga – and demolishing it with explosives on June 28, 2007 — he missed the 2007 deadline for the other four. Last month, as another electrion approached, he announced in Toronto that wouldn’t happen again. His government just approved a regulation that requires all of the province’s coal-powered generating stations to close by 2014. ”There is only one place in the world that is phasing out coal-fired generation and we’re doing that right here in Ontario,” he said.

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 06/12
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