CANADIAN WEBINAR | Gasping for Breath – Implementing Strong Anti-Idling Bylaws in Your Community

CHNET-Works! The Council of Canadians, and Canadians for Action on Climate Change announce a Fireside Chat:
(free-pan-Canadian discussion via telephone/internet for professionals from community health and issue-related sectors)

Gasping for Breath – Implementing Strong Anti-Idling Bylaws in Your Community
Thursday July 9 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern Time
For more information/registration:

This Fireside Chat will review and discuss the recent decision around changes to existing anti-idling bylaw in the City of London. If the London Council accepts the proposed changes (60 seconds removing broad temperature exemptions) – London will have one of the most progressive bylaws in Canada. Gordon McBean, world renowned climatologist for the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, appointed member of Mayor’s Sustainable Energy Council in London, ON -urged the city of London to take action on all ways of reducing emissions as part of national and global efforts to combat climate change. What is happening in your community?

The issue on a drive-thru moratorium is a hot topic across the nation – what is industry’s response? Reminiscent of the tobacco industry’s response to anti-smoking efforts, ad campaigns are being run in London and Comox BC intended to question the science or promote ‘personal choice’ around drive-thrus. Are they hoping to sway pubic opinion and impede legislation? In the meantime, thousands of vehicles line up everyday in drive-thrus spewing unnecessary pollution into the environment.

Empowerment is as much about community mobilization as high-level political action. This is a local issue, with global consequences. Hundreds of leaders are gathered in Geneva discussing climate change. Many are from the developing world. The sense of urgency is palpable. We in the rich countries created the problem with our heavy use of fossil fuels, yet the people who will be most impacted will be the people in the poorest countries who had little to do with creating the problem. We need strong leadership at the federal and provincial levels, AND each of us need to make changes. Municipalities need to find the political will to effectively implement strong anti idling bylaws, to confront the enormity of Climate Change.

The most urgent need is to empower local government and local communities to understand climate implications and to take action. Health professionals and university academics have an important catalytic role. This fireside chat will provide stats, perspectives and inspiration to take on this role. We hope you will join in!

The topics of discussion in this Fireside Chat will be
1) Implementing a strong anti-idling bylaw in your community
2) The contribution to Pollution
3) The contribution to climate change,
4) Drive-thrus
5) Barriers: political partisan issues, denialism, lack of political will and leadership
6) The crucial role of the health and academic sectors re: taking action on Climate Change

Advisors on Tap:

  • Gordon A. McBean CM, PhD, FRSC | Professor and Director Policy Studies | Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
  • Dr. Quentin Chiotti | Climate Change Programme Director and Senior Scientist | Pollution Probe
  • John Howard, MD, FRCPC | Professor of Medicine and Paediatrics | Chair of CAPE | Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
  • Cory Morningstar | Council of Canadians | London | Canadians for Action on Climate Change


Ontario’s smog causes 9,500 deaths per year, medical association says. Of these 1,000 occurred immediately after times of intense pollution.

The research on the human costs of pollution and pollution-related diseases estimated that around 21,000 people in Canada will die from breathing in toxic substances drifting in the air this year with 3,000 of those deaths due to short-term exposure to smog.

CHNET-Works! is a project of the Community Health Research Unit, University of Ottawa.
CHNET-Works! hosts Fireside Chats around current and pressing community health issues.
140 ‘chats’ hosted since January 2009 – no registration fees, no travel costs, no green house gas emissions!

July 9 2009 anti-idling chat poster.doc

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