As the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) points out, although compliance with the Annex
cannot be properly determined until 2007, it is certainly important to evaluate whether gov-
ernments are on-track toward meeting their commitments. The OMA shares the concern
expressed by the Clean Air Alliance that Ontario’s regulatory plan only limits the actual emis-
sions from these plants to 52 kt and allows the missing 13 kt of reductions to be achieved
through an emissions trading program. There is no assurance that the additional 13 kt will be
removed in other ways. (26)
Pollution Probe fully supports the concern reflected in the comments of the Ontario Clean Air
Alliance regarding the report’s statement on page 10 that southern Ontario’s fossil power
plants will comply with the Ozone Annex’s 39 kilotonne (kt) NO  cap by 2007. They also point
out that Ontario regulations will permit southern Ontario power plants to exceed the Annex’s
cap by 33.6 percent. They recommend that federal regulations be established to cap emissions
of NO  from these plants at 39 kt commencing in 2007. (24)
Dr. Basrur, Medical Officer of Health for the city of Toronto, also questions how Ontario’s
actions to date will allow Canada to meet NO  reduction commitments. She notes that with
this lack of clarity, it is surprising that this discussion was omitted from the 2002 Progress
Report. (31) The Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA), although encouraged by the
signing of the Ozone Annex by Canada and the United States, also expressed concern that
neither the federal nor the Ontario government have taken the steps necessary to ensure that
Ontario will comply with the nitrogen oxide emissions cap from all fossil-fueled generators in
central and southern Ontario. They refer to their report Beyond Coal: Power, Public Health and
the Environment (November 2002) for additional details. They suggest that given the enor-
mous contribution of U.S. emitters to air quality in southern Ontario, it is extremely important
that Ontario meet, and if at all possible, exceed its commitment under the Ozone Annex. They
suggest the International Joint Commission is in a position to highlight this concern and to
encourage action from the federal government to rectify it. (21)
On the topic of emissions trading programs and the flexibility that they can provide to those
who have to meet emission reduction targets, the OMA suggests that they have no difficulty
with flexibility mechanisms. Such initiatives can ultimately result in cleaner air by facilitating
greater emission reductions on a shorter timetable. But there is no guarantee that this is going
to happen in Ontario’s case. When Ontario’s trading system was originally proposed, the U.S.
EPA expressed concern that Ontario was making it too easy on industry and provided no
guarantees that emissions would decrease. The U.S. EPA suggested that Ontario’s plan could
even threaten the effectiveness of U.S. emissions trading systems. (26)
When the Ozone Annex was added to the Agreement, Annex 2 was amended to
ensure that:
“The parties further agree, subject to their respective laws and regulations, to consult
and share respective information on data, tools and methodologies and develop joint
analyses on ground-level ozone and precursors, including (a) research and applications
that contribute to tracking of human health and environmental responses to controls”.
[Annex 2, Paragraph 5]
Dr. Basrur and the OMA point out that the Agreement requires, and provides opportunities for,
conducting co-ordinated air quality research. Specifically, in Annex 2, paragraph 5, Canada and
the United Stakes committed to developing “joint analyses on ground level ozone and its
precursors, including: (a) research and applications that contribute to tracking of human health
and environmental responses to controls”. While they consider human health to be the key