Minister of the Environment Supports Canadian Lung Association in Taking Action on Pollution to Reduce Lung Disease
OTTAWA, April 27 – The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, today expressed Canada’s New Government’s strong support for the objectives of the Canadian Lung Association’s Lung Health Framework in his closing address to the Framework’s conference. Minister Baird spoke to the gathering of about 175 stakeholders one day after announcing the Government’s new plan – Turning the Corner: a Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution – which will see, for the first time ever, the federal government force industry to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution.
“Canadians can breathe easier knowing that these new regulations will have tangible health and environmental benefits for everyone,” Minister Baird said. “Our Turning the Corner Plan will cut air pollution and greenhouse gases, and will lead to real health benefits for all Canadians, including cleaner communities, healthier children, fewer premature deaths and more sustainable natural resources. The Canadian Lung Association’s Framework supports and compliments these regulations nicely. Canada’s New Government’s plan, together with initiatives like this Framework, will ensure we’re on the right path to cleaner air for all Canadians.”
These industrial regulations will have real, tangible health and environmental benefits for Canadians. For example, the plan will reduce the number of Canadians suffering from respiratory and cardiovascular disease and it will reduce the number of premature deaths because of health problems linked to air pollution. Canadians will visit hospitals and the emergency room less often and there will be fewer episodes of acute childhood bronchitis, and asthma days.
The World Health Organization predicts that, by 2020, lung disease will be the third leading cause of death in the world. By bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from patient and consumers to health care and pharmaceutical workers, as well as Aboriginal and business groups, the Lung Health Framework: Plan for Action will see a comprehensive action plan developed for launch in 2008. For the first-time ever there will be clear objectives for reducing key environmental contributors to lung disease including air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
“Canada is an international leader in the fights against lung disease,” said Nora Sobolov, Chair of the Interim Steering committee of the Lung Health Framework. “The Plan of Action will further that leadership by building strategies that deal with one of the root causes of lung disease: the air we breathe. The work being done in this Plan will ensure that our children – and future generations – will enjoy cleaner air both indoors and outdoors, and as a result significantly lower rates of lung disease”
“The link between the environment and the respiratory health of Canadians is clear,” said Kenneth Maybee, Chair of the Environmental Issues Working Group or the Lung Health Framework. “Strategies that combat lung disease and their link to indoor and outdoor air pollution, as well as the effects of climate change, are critical to stemming the annual increase in respiratory illness in Canada.”
For more information on what the Government is doing to tackle climate change and reduce air pollution, visit www.ecoaction.gc.ca or call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232, or TTY 1-800-926-9105).
For more information about the Lung Health Framework: Plan for Action, visit http://www.lung.ca/about-propos/framework-cadre_e.php or call 613-569-6411.
(Egalement offert en français)
For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Environment Canada, Media Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008