Canada celebrates Clean Air Day 2017
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting our air quality and ensuring Canadians have healthy communities to live and raise their families. Cleaner air will lead to improved human health, including fewer asthma symptoms; a reduced risk of premature death; and fewer heart-related issues.
The Government of Canada has announced several important initiatives that will provide better air quality for Canadians in the years to come:
- On May 6, 2017, Canada published new rules requiring certain industries to prepare and implement pollution-prevention plans to reduce toxic air pollutants.
- On May 25, 2017, Canada proposed national regulations to reduce emissions of air pollutants from the petroleum and petrochemical sectors—including oil-sands upgraders—that are harmful to human health and that contribute to smog.
- On May 26, 2017, Canada announced it would move forward with provincial and territorial partners, industry, and stakeholders to develop a national strategy to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on Canadian roads, by 2018. Zero-emission vehicles―which include battery, electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles―offer the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas and air-pollutant emissions from cars and light trucks.
Around the world, Canada is known for its clean air. This success comes from working closely with the provinces and territories to set stronger air-quality standards, monitor air quality at hundreds of locations, and provide incentives for clean-air investments.
Canada is also taking a strong leadership role to reduce emissions in the Arctic.
The Arctic Council is working to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, and Canada was proud to join other countries, last month, in adopting the first-ever collective pan-Arctic goal to further reduce black-carbon emissions, a pollutant that impacts climate and human health.
Canada’s action on black-carbon emissions also includes investing in clean energy that will help our northern, remote, and Indigenous communities reduce reliance on diesel to generate electricity—a key action item under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
“Clean Air Day reminds us how fortunate we are to be living in this wonderful country—with air quality that’s consistently ranked among the cleanest by the World Health Organization. We are working together to protect our environment and to build a cleaner economy for Canadian families and future generations.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Canada’s air quality is consistently ranked among the cleanest by the World Health Organization.
In 2016, regulations for thousands of sources of air pollution across Canada were finalized. The requirements target boilers and heaters, cement kilns, and stationary engines such as those used for compression to move gas along pipelines or used for back-up generators.
Between 2000 and 2015, emissions of key air pollutants released from industrial and non-industrial activities have decreased significantly. For example, sulphur oxide emissions decreased by more than 50 percent, and nitrogen oxide emissions decreased by more than 30 percent.
Canada and the United States have adopted the most stringent national standards in the world for air-pollutant emissions from new cars and light trucks.
Canada issues daily, real-time air-quality ratings and forecasts for communities across Canada, on the Air Quality Health Index web page.
Using clean technology and innovation to reduce air pollution could add thousands of well-paying jobs over the next few years.
The Government of Canada’s 2017 budget proposed to provide up to $201 million over four years, starting in 2018 and 2019, for Canada to continue to take action to address outdoor and indoor air pollution.
Budget 2017 also proposed to invest $120 million to deploy infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations and natural-gas and hydrogen refuelling stations, as well as to support technology-demonstration projects.
Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)
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