Policy Priority: Environmental Sustainability and Clean Air
The health of our planet is important to us all. Climate change will affect everyone in Canada, but those already experiencing health inequities will be disproportionately impacted. Air quality issues disproportionately affect people with asthma and respiratory allergies. Asthma Canada is committed to providing leadership, advocacy, public awareness, information and innovation in the areas of asthma, allergies, respiratory health, and the environment.
Read on to learn about our efforts to advance this policy priority.
Elimination of Coal Fired Power Generation
Alongside coalition partners in both Ontario and Alberta, Asthma Canada was actively involved in advocacy campaigns to push for the elimination of coal fired electricity generation. These successful campaigns resulted in the closure of the last coal fired power plant in Ontario in 2014 and the announcement of a phase-out of coal power in Alberta by 2030.
Asthma Canada is actively working on advocacy campaigns to close the remaining coal plants in Canada located in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia while also asking the Federal government to continue measures which improve air quality through investment in clean, sustainable energy sources and green technologies.
- Read our press release: Air is cleaner, Ontarians healthier since Ontario shut down coal
- Read Breathing in the Benefits: How an accelerated coal phase-out can reduce health impacts and costs to Albertans
- Read Clean Air Canada: Recognizing the role of nuclear power supporting coal phase-out to achieve long-term climate change goals
- Read Canada’s Clean Growth Century op-ed
- Read Canada’s Physicians Want to See the End of Coal-Fired Power Plants
- Read more about Asthma Canada’s President and CEO, Vanessa Foran, presenting the Hon. Shannon Phillips, Environment Minister, with the Award for Leadership in Public Policy on behalf of the Alberta government’s commitment to phase out coal by 2030
Calling for an effective climate change plan in Ontario
For people living with asthma, the air we breathe affects the way we live. When you can’t breathe because of air pollution, you can’t work, go to school or live your life freely. Climate change is also a health issue.
Alongside more than 60 organizations from various sectors, Asthma Canada called for a comprehensive and effective climate change plan for Ontario, signing an open letter to the Ontario government. The Clean Economy Alliance’s letter signatories included nurses, steelworkers, engineers, environmental advocates, architects, teachers, solar panel installers, financiers, investors, doctors, and small business owners.
The Make it Better Project
The Make It Better project was developed by the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) in partnership with leading health and environmental organizations working to protect children’s health. An ally to the project, Asthma Canada regularly shares education and resources from the project with our community.
Children’s health is being directly and seriously impacted by climate change and inequities put them at greater risk. Over 13% of Canadian children and youth are living with asthma. It is one of the leading causes of childhood hospital admissions in Canada. Children from the lowest income neighborhoods in Canada are hospitalized for asthma 1.5 times more than those from the highest income neighborhoods.
For Life and Breath: Asthma, Allergy and the Environment
In 2014, Asthma Canada hosted a full-day conference to discuss and develop strategies on the current state of asthma, allergies and the environment. The Summit consisted of speeches, presentations and four panel discussions that featured Canada’s leading medical experts, researchers, and advocates.