It wasn’t a surprise to see Conservative MPP John Yakabuski come out swinging in support of a new report from fellow right-wing thinkers at the Fraser Institute. The report, co-authored by climate change denier Ross McKitrick, makes false claims that have previously been debunked by a wide range of experts, including the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Ontario Medical Association, Asthma Society of Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Ontario Power Authority, Independent Electricity System Operator, David Suzuki Foundation and many more.The overwhelming consensus is clear – from climate, health and energy experts both in government and independent organizations – that the closure of coal plants in Ontario has resulted in significant reductions in air pollution, and improved the lives of Ontarians.Despite the evidence, Mr. Yakabuski still felt compelled to speak out in support of the Fraser Institute yesterday. While that’s no surprise, facts still matter in Ontario and the Conservatives need to stop misleading Ontarians.
John Yakabuski said: “They just take these numbers out of the air and claim that they have somehow reduced these deaths.”
Fact: Not true. The 2016 Toronto Vital Signs report shows premature deaths and hospitalizations as a result of air pollution have dropped by 23% and 41% respectively since 2004. (Source: http://torontosvitalsigns.ca/main-sections/environment/) A study conducted by the Canadian Medical Association also indicated that the economic costs of air pollution was over $8 billion in 2008. (Source :http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/docs/default-source/jfy-communities/pdf_jfy_municipality_enewsletter_feb2010_cma_icap_sum_e) Also, thanks to Ontario’s action, smog days have been reduced from 53 in 2005 to ZERO in 2015, reducing the long-term exposure to poor air quality that created these health risks.(Source: http://14083-presscdn-0-0.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/140411_CleanAirOntario_R003.pdf)
Misleading Claims On Consultations
Patrick Brown said: “Bill 41, which was rammed through the legislature by the Liberal government without proper consultation, allows the hiring of 84 new vice-presidents under the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).”
Fact: Let’s break down the consultations on Bill 41:
1 year of consultation time
1000’s of patients, caregivers, stakeholder associations, healthcare providers have provided advice and feedback on the legislation
1 discussion paper on proposed changes released in December 2015
1,150 email submissions
187 formal written submissions
6,000 individuals and organizations who participated in almost 250 LHIN-led sessions, and hundreds of additional meetings
Tell Him What He Wants To Hear!
John Yakabuski agreed with: a report claiming that eliminating coal did not significantly reduce air pollution
Fact: Getting rid of coal has made the air we breathe cleaner – significantly so in fact. Beyond the wide range of experts who already agree with us, the 2016 Ontario Planning Outlook (OPO), prepared by electricity system experts at the IESO last fall, found that electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions have fallen from 35 million tonnes of CO2 in 2005, to a record low of 7 million tonnes in 2015. The reason? Eliminating coal. (Source: http://www.ieso.ca/Documents/OPO/Ontario-Planning-Outlook-September2016.pdf) And yesterday Greg Evans, the director of the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research, called the report “disappointing” and that the results were “flawed.” He even went further, noting that “(the authors) don’t seem to understand the chemistry in the atmosphere, so they’re coming up with things that are really either incorrect assumptions or physically not meaningful.”(Source: http://ipolitics.ca/2017/01/17/fraser-institute-report-on-ontarios-coal-phase-out-flawed-scientist-warns/)