Welcome to Fireside Chats
The Council of Canadians, Canadians for Action on Climate Change
and CHNET-Works! are collaborating on this Fireside Chat:
Gasping for Breath –
Implementing Strong Anti-Idling Bylaws in Your Community
July 9, 2009 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern Time
Advisors on Tap:
Cory Morningstar, Canadians for Action on Climate Change, President Council of Canadians - London
Chapter, Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Environment to the City of London.
Gordon McBean, Professor in the Departments of Geography and Political Science and holds the
Research Chair in policy at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, University of Western Ontario,
Quentin Chiotti, Climate Change Programme Director, Pollution Probe
Fleur Storace-Hogan, Sustainability Support Technician, City of Burlington
With thanks to: John Howard, MD, FRCPC, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Chair - Canadian
Association of Physicians for the Environment
CHNET-Works! Animateur: Dot Bonnenfant
Community Health Research Unit, University of Ottawa
CHNET-Works hosts weekly Fireside Chats to share information and support discussions around
pressing community health issues
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• Welcome, Housekeeping and Introductions
• Presentation and Discussions
This Fireside Chat will shed light on the issue of anti-idling bylaws,
• Some Background: Tipping points (Cory Morningstar)
• Concerns about climate change role of Canada contributing to
Climate Change, hot days + pollution = smog days = health
concerns (Gordon McBean)
• Idling, pollution and climate change; the costs of idling: our
health and the economy (Quentin Chiotti)
• Notes re: Recommendations per Natural Resources Canada
• Anti-idling Bylaws
– City of Burlington anti-idling bylaw: history, process and
results since 1999 (Fleur)
– City of London anti-idling bylaw (Cory Morningstar)
• Drive throughs (Cory Morningstar)
– the industry‟s response
– Utah Physicians for the Environment suggestions
Discussion: What would you like to see happen in your
community, related industry, nationally re: anti-idling, drive-
Advisors on Tap
• Cory Morningstar, Canadians for Action on Climate Change,
President Council of Canadians- London Chapter, Chair of the
advisory committee on the environment to the City of London.
• Gordon McBean, Professor in the Departments of Geography and
Political Science and holds the Research Chair in policy at the
Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, at The University of
• Quentin Chiotti, Climate Change Programme Director, Pollution
• Fleur Storace-Hogan, Sustainability Support Technician, City of
• With thanks to: John Howard, MD, FRCPC, Professor of Medicine
and Pediatrics, Chair, Canadian Association of Physicians for the
“Climate policy is characterized by the habituation
of low expectations and a culture of failure.
There is an urgent need to understand global
warming and the tipping points for dangerous
impacts that we have already crossed as a
sustainability emergency that takes us beyond
the politics of failure-inducing compromise.
We are now in a race between climate tipping
points and political tipping points.”
Climate Code Red, Australia
David Spratt, Philip Sutton
Published July, 2008
Exhaust Pipe vs. Smoking: Which Causes More Harm?
Toronto’s medical officer released a report stating a 30% reduction in vehicle
emissions could save 200 lives, one billion dollars a year in health care costs
and 68,000 asthma attacks for children a year in Toronto alone.
OMA estimates for annual premature deaths (2130 people) due to smog in
Toronto alone were almost three times the number of deaths (831people)
Health Canada attributes to secondhand smoke exposure for the whole of
One must wonder why there is such apathy towards these numbers when
pollution is something we can clearly defeat.
Canadians for Action on Climate Change
Government’s key role is to serve as the trustee of the commonwealth and
the common health for this and future generations. Yet …
Canada now stands out as one of the last major industrialized countries
opposed to targets for deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and
one of the biggest blockers of climate change negotiations.
Canadians for Action on Climate Change is a developing non-profit NGO
of activists, academia, physicians and citizens focusing on climate
change, true cost economy and relocalization. Our organization seeks to
provide news, reports and analysis to inform, educate and develop
environmental policies for all levels of government in Canada. We are
committed to being part of an international movement against destruction
of our shared environment. Our current economy is unsustainable and an
unethical catalyst to ever increasing global warming. This model assumes
endless growth and limitless potential wealth that completely disregards
the fact that the earth’s life support capacity is finite. We respect the
integrity, resilience, and beauty of the common wealth of all life as the
foundation for a new sustainable economic model for our finite planet that
will benefit generations to come.
Contact us at email@example.com
Canada and the US together represent less than 5 percent of humanity
yet consume over one-quarter of the world’s oil, and contribute to
more than one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon is the most significant greenhouse gas, and Canada’s per
capita carbon footprint is more than twice that of the average
European, roughly five times the world average, and more than 20
times that of many developing countries.
Emissions from an individual idling a car in an average size
municipality such as London will emit nearly the same amount of
emissions volume as the total annual emissions from an individual in
Canadians must urgently face up to our grossly outsized and destructive
carbon footprint, and changes need to start somewhere.
Idling and drive-thrus are simply luxury items we can live without. The
low hanging fruits so to speak.
Whether in blissful ignorance or conscious disregard, to continue to act
like we are simply entitled to more – and more urban sprawl, more
cars, more oil, and more greenhouse emissions – constitutes a
planetary arrogance of frightening proportions. Idling bylaws and
moratoriums on new drive-thrus would represent an important first
step towards a new vision of denser, less resource intensive cities,
and one which is ultimately more in step with our responsibilities as
Our shared environment is neither a ‘left’ nor a ‘right’ issue. It is not a
partisan issue. We all breathe the same air. We all share one finite
In the past 15 years alone, there has been a fourfold increase in asthma in children under 15
in Canada. Children are the most vulnerable breathing 50% more air per pound than
adults. In 1999 we had 3 smog days. In recent years we’ve had as many as 56. Vehicles
are a primary source of toxic emissions such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide,
particulates and benzene (a carcinogen). In recent published findings of ‘Air Releases of
Carcinogens by Province’, Ontario ranks the highest in Canada - at an unbelievable 38.
18 %. The second highest is Alberta - less than half at 17.81%. Newfoundland and PEI are
less than 1%. We are now at a crossroads. Some citizens have such a deep sense of
entitlement that they actually fight for their ‘right’ to harm our shared environment. Such
individuals are so disconnected from nature that they do not understand that their
perceived ‘right’ to pollute and degrade our shared environment is at the expense of not
only their own health, but the health and welfare of their own children and the people
they love. Such perceived ‘rights’ and senses of entitlement are the root cause of climate
change which now kills 300,000 people per year.
Barriers Experienced in London, Ontario
-Citizens Entitlement | ’Choice’ to harm our shared environment at the expense of others
-Apathy - Severe lack of understanding on the severity of the climate change crisis not to
mention lack of knowledge RE: health crisis and peak oil
-MSM (Main Stream Media) suppressing relevant issues
-Lack of political will | Lack of knowledge among politicians
April 2009: CO2 hits 800,000-year high at Mauna
Loa Observatory Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii
(USA) Atmospheric CO2 reached 389.47 parts per
June 10th, 2009 – co2 went up again.
It is now at 390.18
It‟s us, the one billion affluent people of the
world whose footprints are crushing the
planet. Surely we can all agree this is grossly
unethical. Climate change today accounts for
over 300,000 deaths throughout the world each
We are in a world wide public health crisis epidemic
as a direct result of air pollution.
A new advocacy and public health movement is
needed urgently to bring together governments,
international agencies, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), com-munities, and
academics from all disciplines to adapt to the
effects of climate change on health.
Any adaptation should sit alongside the need for
primary mitigation: reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions - Lancet and University College London
Institute for Global Health Commission.
-Replace reading material in health sector waiting rooms with
relevant and intelligent reading material. Contact us for a list
of suggested subscriptions.
-Replace television shows in waiting rooms with documentaries.
-Co2 widgets for health sectors, schools, organizations. 350 is a
number people need to know.
-Think of idling as a starting point for behavioural changes.
Empower people to be part of the movement. Involve
schools. Children influence parents.
-Assign trees for shade in parking lots and pick up spots.
-Assign volunteers to hand out leaflets on blitz days.
-Post anti-idling signs.
-Ask your physician, organization to join CAPE.
-Ecoliteracy courses for staff, politicians, those in leadership
Knowledge is a weapon – Arm the masses
The Role of Cities
The battle against climate change will be
won or lost in cities.
The role of provincial and federal
governments is widely debated, analyzed
Yet the challenge is so huge that cross-cutting
action at all levels will be needed. The
central role of city leaders in our rapidly
urbanizing world will be key to reducing the
world‟s greenhouse gas emissions.
The leaders of large cities have a particular
responsibility to act, and governments must
empower and enable city governments to
take on this role.
The Role of Cities
If global efforts to address climate change are
to be successful, they will need to integrate
city requirements and environmental
Only with a coordinated approach and
actions at the global, regional, national and
local levels can success be achieved.
Many cities are now taking the initiative to
reduce their impact on the global climate.
The Role of Cities
By 2030, two-thirds of humanity will live in cities or urban areas.
Half already do.
Cities consume 75 per cent of the world’s energy and are
responsible for 80 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions.
Moreover, all cities are highly vulnerable to the impacts of
climate change, and none more so than fast growing cities in
About 20 of the 30 largest cities of the world are situated on low
Rising sea levels of a few metres would have catastrophic
implications. So there’s an extraordinary responsibility and
motivation for cities to act.
It is at city level that innovation and progress
on climate change action is most likely to
60% of $129 billion per year industry
takes place at the drive-thru window.
Welcome to the Denialism Industry
“manufacturing scientific uncertainty” strategy:
industries invest in public relations campaign to raise doubts about
increasingly definitive scientific evidence.
Argue about the science = stop municipalities from trying to
address the problem?
If the new „science‟ purchased by industry doesn‟t work....
„choice‟ : whatever the risk to society, it the citizens right to do so.
This is another example of product defense.
Similarities? Tobacco, oil and climate change?
Corporate spin experts recognize that manufacturing doubt works.
Results: stop or slow government legislation for years.
This is a growing trend that disingenuously demands proof over
precaution in the realm of public health.
Drive Thru Resources:
Drive-thrus – Think the impact is insignificant? Think again.
calculations provided in this study, national average of 3.84
seconds to produce a very conservative number for the total
number of emissions, etc. produced in London drive-thrus.
(idling times in line with Tim Horton‟s own study: 3-4.5 minutes)
London has 156 drive-thrus –(145 used to keep results conservative).
City of London results:
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
This is ONLY London based on only 145 drive-thrus. Imagine the result
from all cities in Ontario, in Canada, in North America, in the world.
For more info. firstname.lastname@example.org
Children are the most vulnerable in our society. It is the
responsibility of every adult citizen on our global planet to take
every precaution to protect our children and mitigate against
climate change. Just as all children must have the right to
clean drinking water, all children must have the right to breathe
-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.
-Children are the most vulnerable breathing 50% more air per
pound than adults.
-The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the number
of children dying from asthma each year could increase by 20
per cent by 2016 if urgent action was not taken to reduce
emissions from vehicles and factories.
Idling is systemic of a much bigger problem.
That of a car culture phenomenon, a culture of self entitlement and
our „choice‟ to destroy our shared environment. Our shared natural
environment has become a toxic dumping ground. We believe that
in the western world the root cause of this crisis is the fact the majority
of citizens have completely lost their connection with the natural
world. We need to reverse this.
We are paying the highest price…
Today we are living in what scientists call „the sixth extinction‟. The
fastest die off of species the Earth has ever seen. The biodiversity crisis
is due to the destruction of ecosystems, the overexploitation of
species and natural resources, overpopulation, the spread of
agriculture and livestock, and pollution - all contributing to ever
accelerating global warming caused by humans.
We are conducting a vast toxicological experiment in which our
children and our children's children are the experimental subjects…
CBC Video Now Online | The Disappearing Male -
Doc Zone | CBC-TV
The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least
publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the
male reproductive system.
The last few decades have seen steady and dramatic increases in
the incidence of boys and young men suffering from genital
deformities, low sperm count, sperm abnormalities and testicular
cancer. Some researchers say that declining male fertility rates could
be the first sign of extinction.
Drive Thru Resources:
World News on Pollution & Climate Change:
Redesigning the Way We Think & Live:
Essential Reading: Paul Hawken: You are Brilliant & the Earth is Hiring:
• Concerns about climate change
role of Canada contributing to
hot days+pollution=smog days
= health concerns
*A hot day is defined as a
day with a maximum
temperature above 30C
Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
Centre canadien de la modélisation et de l‟analyse climatique
No Breathing Room
National Illness Costs of Air Pollution
Canadian Medical Association (CMA) August 2008
1. In 2008, 21,000 Canadians will die from the effects of
2. By 2031, almost 90,000 people will have died from the
acute effects of air pollution. The number of deaths
due to long-term exposure to air pollution will be
10. 11. In 2008, economic costs of air pollution will top $8
billion. By 2031, these costs will have accumulated to
over $250 billion.
The processes that result in air pollution are much the
same as those that produce greenhouse gases.
And more hot days will result in more smog days – for the
• Projections - intense rainfall
events, heat waves and smog
episodes are likely to become
• Heat-related mortality could
more than double in southern
and central Ontario by the
2050s, while air pollution
mortality could increase about
15 to 25% during the same
• The health of Ontario
From Impacts to Adaptation: residents has been at risk …
Canada in a extreme weather, heat waves,
Changing Climate 2007 smog episodes and ecological
changes that support the
spread of vector-borne
• Walkerton, Ontario
Canada’s Emissions to 2007
33.8% above Kyoto
Target Kyoto Target
Canadian Emissions by Sector
Ontario GHG Emissions- tonne/person
2006 US = 20
Canada = 20
Germany,Japan,UK = 9.8
China = 2.6
India = 1
Change in GHG Emissions
Relative to 1990
United States +16%
• Idling, pollution and climate
• the costs of idling: our health
and the economy
(Notes from NRCanada)
Why do we idle?
• warming up or cooling down a vehicle in the
winter and summer.
• waiting for passengers
• stopping at railway crossings
• waiting to park
• running quick errands
• sitting in drive-through lanes
• waiting to refuel or to have the car washed
• stopping to talk to an acquaintance or friend
• preparing to leave the house
a Canadian survey:
In the peak of winter‚ many Canadians idle their vehicles
for about eight minutes a day….
– Totals more than 75 million minutes of idling a day.
– Uses over 2.2 million litres of fuel
– Creates over five million kilograms of greenhouse gases (GHGs)
= Amount of fuel required to drive:
– Over 1100 vehicles for a year
– to idle one vehicle for 144 years!
Concerns about Idling
• Heart and Stroke Position Statement:
• Short and long term exposure to air pollution are estimated to
result in 21,000 premature deaths in Canada in 2008 as well as
620,000 doctor visits, 30,000 emergency department visits,
11,000 hospital admissions and an annual economic impact of
over $8 billion
• A Heart and Stroke Foundation survey in 2008 found that only
13% of Canadians are aware of the links between air pollution
and cardiovascular disease7.
Effects of Idling…..
• Effect of pollutants from vehicle
emissions on Health and the
Pollutant Characteristic Sources General Health General
Effects Ecological Effects
Nitrogen Dioxide Gas with a pungent Automobiles, Increasing Leads to acid
(NO2) and irritating odor thermal power sensitivity for deposition, adverse
plants, incineration, people with asthma effect on vegetation
etc. Natural and bronchitis
lightning and soil
Carbon Colorless, odorless, Major source is Impairment of
Monoxide (CO) tasteless and transportation visual perception,
poisonous gas. sector; i.e. road work capacity,
vehicles, aircraft learning ability and
and railways. performance of
Total suspended Particles of solid or Industrial The smaller the Damage to
particles (TSP) liquid matter that processes particle the greater vegetation,
stay suspended in including the effect on health. deterioration in
the air in the form of combustion, Significant effects visibility and
dust, mist, smoke, incineration, for people with lung contamination of
fume, soot etc. Size construction, metal disease, asthma soil.
range 0.1 – 100 smelting etc. Also and bronchitis.
microns motor vehicle See PM10 below.
exhaust and road
sources such as
Forest fires, ocean
spray and volcanic
Pollutant Characteristic Sources General Health General
Inhalable Same as TSP, Same as TSP Increased hospital Same as TSP
Particles (PM10) except size range admissions and
of particles is less premature deaths
than 10 microns.
Ozone (O3 A colorless gas Ozone is not Irritation of the Damage to
with a strong emitted directly lungs and difficulty agricultural crops,
smell. Major into the in breathing. ornamentals,
component of atmosphere. It is Exposure to high forests and natural
summer smog. produced by concentrations can vegetation
photochemical result in chest
action on nitrogen lightness,
oxides and volatile coughing and
Tools to enforce by-law 71-2004
• Informational ‘Ticket’
• Patrol specific areas when complaints
• Part 1 Fine
– Part 1 fine approved = $150 + $5 court
costs + $25 victim surcharge ($180 total
• One charge (a summons) laid by Halton
Police in March 2008.
Enforcement of bylaw 27-2009
• Officers will issue a fine if necessary
(i.e. for unattended idling vehicles).
• If someone is present in a vehicle, the
officer will advise them of the bylaw
and give them a warning and
• If the driver does not turn off the
vehicle, a Part 2 fine will be issued –
just like a parking ticket (issued to the
owner of the vehicle).
• New $10,000 budget
– New stand alone display, updated bookmarks,
bumper stickers for city vehicles, updated outdoor
metal signs, advertising (Burlington Post), read-o-
– Ongoing use of outdoor banners (i.e. schools and
municipal facilities), media releases (article front
page of Burlington Post), city website, City Talk
(residential newsletter), Focus (staff newsletter),
quarterly update to Council, presentations, etc.
Idling Gets You
Turn Your Engines
While You Wait!!!
• City of Burlington Idling Page
• COB Idling Reports to Council
• COB Idling Report (re Bylaw 27-2009)
• COB Bylaw 27-2009
• Fleur Storace-Hogan
• 905-335-7600 x7580
• City of London
• Case study on line:
1999 – Anti-idling bylaw
SMOG DAYS: 3 per year
Idling time: 5 minutes
Fine: $130 tickets
Enforcement: part time Public Health Unit Staff
(tickets rarely issued)
temperatures above 27 C or below 5 C
passengers have health issues identified by a doctor.
Ongoing discussions through the years….
• process slowed when fast food restaurants organized opposition to
June 30, 2009 – new bylaw: takes effect Sept. 1
SMOG DAYS: (53 in 2005)
Idling time: 2 minutes
Enforcement: all city bylaw officers, includes: level train crossings.
Fine: $50 tickets require less administrative costs
temperatures above 27 C or below 5 C
passengers have health issues identified by a doctor.
Arguments for 3 minutes idling time:
•it would make it tough for young mothers to shuttle their kids in and out
Arguments for 2 minutes idling time:
•"I'd ask you to think of the inconvenience for those who can't breathe on
smog day alerts."
a study showed 80% of motorists who idle in London do so less than
Council rejected Staff proposed changes:
•One- minute idling limit (per Natural Resources Canada info)
•No temperature exemptions
Concerns re: exemptions and idling time in new bylaw:
•London's bylaw missed the opportunity to be among the toughest in
Londoners would become more aware of reducing the production of
pollutants and greenhouse gases.
• What is happening?
• What do we hope for?
Restaurant industry response…
Companies have done studies showing it does not reduce emissions
when customers walk inside. (where are these studies?)
• "You've created more emissions by turning off and then restarting,
actually more pollution goes into the air by doing that than waiting in
line and going through a drive-through," Melva Sine, president and
CEO, Utah Restaurant Association.
• Restaurateurs say the proposal would cripple a growing industry. "The
economic impact would be huge,"
• The Comox response:
• Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association
Western Canada Office
• Toll Free: 1-866-300-7675 E-mail: email@example.com
• Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment speaking out:
• call for red day drive-through ban
• June 29th, 2009 @ 6:00pm By John Hollenhorst
• VIDEO: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=6987736
Suggested red day strategies:
• Free mass transit
• Lower freeway speeds
• Programs encouraging parents to walk their kids to school
• City and county ordinances requiring a shutdown of drive-through
windows on bad-air days (not a shutdown of businesses- a shutdown
of the drive throughs)
Your comments and questions please......
“If you want to
know who is
a look in the
Council of Canadians: http://www.canadians.org/
Heart and Stroke Position Statement: Air Pollution Heart Disease and Stroke
From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007 reflects the advances made in
understanding Canada‟s vulnerability to climate change during the past decade.
Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission: Managing the
health effects of climate change:
Other Lancet articles:
Clean Air Partnerships http://www.cleanairpartnership.org/
Dads Against Dirty Air www.dadacanada.com
Other tools of interest…
Thanks for joining in!
Thanks for joining in!
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• Please contact the CHNET-Works! Animateur
if you are interested in collaborating on
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