Government of Canada Action for Clean Air
TORONTO, June 20, 2003 - Today, at the Fourth Annual Toronto Smog Summit, the Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, joined provincial and municipal leaders, citizens, and industry leaders for the signing of the Toronto and Region 2003 Inter-governmental Declaration on Clean Air, outlining measures to achieve cleaner air into 2004.
The annual Smog Summit is a forum for governments, industry and concerned groups and citizens to report on progress, and commit to further action for cleaner air in Southern Ontario. The theme of this year's Smog Summit is "Smog and Energy Use - Making the Connection".
"The Government of Canada has made strong progress on the clean air agenda, dealing directly with sources of air pollution. In keeping with this year's Smog Summit theme, we must continue to emphasize the link between energy use and air pollution," said Minister Anderson. "In addition, we are working toward greater international cooperation on clean air, as well as action to implement Canada's Plan on Climate Change - a plan which also works towards the goal of cleaner air".
The Government of Canada is continuing to deliver on the $120.2 million Clean Air Agenda announced in February 2001. Recent actions include passing the new Sulphur in Diesel Fuel Regulations which will reduce the sulphur limit in on-road diesel by 97 per cent starting in 2006, and passing the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations for 2004 and later model years. This regulation will decrease emissions by 90 per cent. Together these regulations will protect the health of Canadians by significantly reducing air pollution and smog.
"Transport Canada is committed to reducing smog and other air pollution resulting from urban transportation," said Mr. Collenette. "Transport Canada will continue to work in partnership with other governments, the private sector, and non-profit groups to improve air quality through initiatives that promote the environmentally sound movement of goods and people".
The Government of Canada Appendix within the Declaration outlines the latest commitments and additional initiatives to improve air quality from both the transportation and energy sectors. These new initiatives build upon the three previous years' commitments since the inaugural Smog Summit in 2000.
"There are many small things Canadians can do everyday - at work, at home and on the road - to save energy, address climate change and make our air cleaner," said Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "The Smog Summit shows that together we can effectively respond to climate change, ensure a healthy environment and improve the quality of life in our communities."
The Government of Canada also released its Report Card on progress on commitments made at previous Smog Summits. Previous commitments include initiatives under essential areas such as transportation, energy and national and international government action. Targeting efforts on these key sectors will result in dramatic reductions in emissions resulting in cleaner air for all Canadians.
For a full account of the Government of Canada's actions to combat smog since Smog Summit 2000, visit www.smogsummit.org. The current compilation of Government of Canada's commitments is provided within the Appendix to the Toronto and Region 2003 Inter-Governmental Declaration on Clean Air, which can also be found on the same Web site.
The Government of Canada applauds the efforts of the Greater Toronto Area Clean Air Council for the organization of the Toronto Smog Summit 2003 and for its continued efforts to forward the clean air agenda and public awareness efforts on clean air issues within the GTA. The Smog Summit is a strong example of intergovernmental cooperation for issues extending beyond political jurisdictions.
Speaking Notes for The Honourable David Anderson, P.C., M.P. Minister of the Environment