Local Issue | Contact Councillors on the Idling Recommendation

Dear Citizens,

As citizens of London, you have an opportunity to voice your concern for our shared natural environment.  The startling stats can be found below.

The City of London will be making changes to our idling bylaw which was introduced in 1999.  City staff have recommended a one minute anti-idling bylaw with exemptions for temperature only for severe temperatures.

Proposed Amendments June 1st 2009

On June 1st it was amended to three minutes by ETC (Environment & Transportation Committee) and our current temperature exemptions were added back in.  Currently – Toronto is looking at ten seconds.  Burlington is 60 seconds with no temperature exemption.

If you missed the deadline today at 9am for the agenda – you have until the June 15th, 9am, for your comments to be added on as ‘added’ communications.  On the 15th the recommendation will go to council.  On the 22nd – there will be a public participation meeting.

Lastly – please engage your family and friends to write in a brief submission or call our elected officials in support of the one minute bylaw as presented by city staff. (Removing the amendments made at ETC which made it much weaker).  Our councillors want to hear from us.

Thank you in advance for your care and concern for we all breathe the same air.

It is our hope that sooner rather than later municipalities across Canada and the world will find the political will for a 10 second maximum tolerance on idling, as well addressing the infamous drive-thru issue.  Drive-thrus continue to proliferate as climate change escalates and air pollution becomes more and more dire.  For more information contact Canadians for Action on Climate Change: canadianclimateaction@gmail.com

Email addresses | Copy & Paste:





















Please Cc:

Kevin Bain (City of London Clerk) kbain@london.ca

Linda Rowe (City of London Secretary) lrowe@london.ca

The Numbers:

  • 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.
  • By 2031, short term exposure to air pollution will claim close to 90,000 lives in Canada, while long-term exposure will kill more than 700,000, the report said.
  • Ontario and Quebec residents are the worst hit Canadians, with 70 percent of the premature deaths occurring in Central Canada.
  • In the past 15 years alone, there has been a fourfold increase in asthma in children under 15 in Canada.
  • OMA estimates for annual premature deaths (2130) due to smog in Toronto alone were almost three times the number of deaths (831) Health Canada attributes to secondhand smoke exposure for the whole of Canada.
  • In 2008, 80 per cent of those who die due to air pollution will be over 65.
  • 25 Canadians under 19 will die from short-term acute pollution exposure this year.
  • Children are the most vulnerable breathing 50% more air per pound than adults.
  • A child’s breathing zone is lower than adults so they are more exposed to vehicle exhausts and heavier pollutants that concentrate at lower levels in the air.
  • In 2008 there will more than 9,000 hospital visits and 30,000 emergency room visits, and 620,000 doctor’s office visits, stemming from air pollution.
  • Eight thousand people a day die from air pollution. There are 3 million annual deaths, worldwide.
  • Emissions from an individual idling a car in London, will emit nearly the same amount of emissions volume as the total annual emissions from an individual in Bangladesh.
  • More than 20 million people have been displaced by climate-related sudden-onset natural disasters in 2008 alone, according to a new study by OCHA and the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
  • The total number of people affected by natural disasters due to accelerating climate change has risen sharply over the past 10 years, with an average of 211 million people directly affected each year, nearly five times the number impacted by conflict in the same period.
  • April 2009: CO2 hits 800,000-year high at Mauna Loa Observatory Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (USA) Atmospheric CO2 reached 389.47 parts per million (ppm).
  • Wednesday June 10th – co2 went up again.  It is now at 390.18
  • The human respiratory system can only handle an upper level of 426 ppmv before the blood begins to become acidic after long-term exposure.

The Costs:

  • The national economy: air pollution will top eight billion dollars in 2008, and by 2031 it will go over 250 billion.
  • The Ontario Medical Association estimated that health care costs caused by poor air quality in 2000 would amount to nearly $630 million, not to mention the $566 million in costs due to workers taking sick days.
  • In Ontario alone, lost productivity will cost Canada $349,400 this year. By 2031 that will total over $9 million in damage.
  • Healthcare costs in the province will be $221,800 this year, up to almost $6.5 million total by 2031.
  • Economic damage to quality of life will hit $194,100 in Ontario in 2008, up to $265,000 in 2031 and totalling almost $5.5 million by that time.
  • Economic damage due to loss of life will cost $3,644,100 in 2008, rising to $6,367,200 in 2031, and totalling $115,674,500 by 2031.

Air Releases of Carcinogens by Province

Rank Provinces Air Releases of Toxics
of Carcinogens (kg)
1 Ontario 2,736,369 38. 18 %
2 Alberta 1,283,727 17. 91 %
3 Quebec 1,261,851 17. 61 %
4 British Columbia 797,639 11. 13 %
5 New Brunswick 392,403 5. 47 %
6 Manitoba 369,686 5. 16 %
7 Saskatchewan 115,839 1. 62 %
8 Nova Scotia 97,280 1. 36 %
9 Newfoundland 65,029 . 91 %
10 Northwest Territories 29,103 . 41 %
11 Prince Edward Island 18,325 . 26 %


Think drive-thrus are insignificant?  Think again …


We have used the calculations provided to us in this study (idling times are completely in line with Tim Horton’s own study (3-4.5 minutes) & with the national average of 3.84 seconds) to produce a very conservative number for the total number of emissions, etc. produced in London drive-thrus.

London has 156 drive-thrus – so we have based our amounts on (29 x 5) 145 as opposed to 156 to keep our results conservative.

Here are the results: (City of London only)

  • Idling time: 108, 795, 760 minutes.
  • Fuel Wasted: 2, 175, 925 litres of fuel wasted.
  • Emissions: 590 tons of carbon dioxide & other pollutants.
  • To offset this amount of pollutants in one year we would need to plant 29,220 trees.
  • Fuel wasted – enough for an average car to circle the globe 425 times.

And this is ONLY London based on only 150 drive-thrus. Imagine the result from all cities in Ontario, in Canada, in North America, in the world.

For more info. on this study (data) please contact us at councilofcanadians.london@sympatico.ca

We thank Dave De Sylva for taking the time, effort, (out of pocket) costs and conviction to produce this report.


Vancouver Idling Bylaw as Proposed by Richard Stanwick | Chief Medical Officer | June 12th 2008

Provided by Richard Stanwick | Chief Medical Health Officer | Vancouver Island Health Authority | #430 – 1900 Richmond Avenue | Victoria, BC V8R 4R2





Website: http://www.viha.ca/mho