Views on Air Quality Indicators
Tracking of indicators of air quality should be improved, particularly health outcomes such as
respiratory and cardiovascular mortalities, hospital admissions, emergency room visits, lost work
or school days, increased medication use, etc. Visibility and impacts on natural ecosystems are
also important indicators. (32)
Views on Public Participation
It was recommended that the parties review their guidelines for consultation with the objective
of expanding and enhancing more public participation and consultation. There needs to be
mechanisms and opportunities for even wider public involvement. The Parties should develop
strategies and initiatives to further engage and bring together more citizen involvement on both
sides of the border. It would be valuable to engage, inform citizens so they can help move the air
quality agenda along. (27) The lack of mention of participation by First Nation communities in
Progress Report and Agreement activities was raised. (30)
Members of non-government organizations that participated in the meetings in Ottawa and
Toronto appreciated the opportunity to meet with a Commissioner in an informal session. The
lack of public consultation on the second five-year review of the Agreement undertaken by the
governments’ Air Quality Committee was raised as a shortcoming of the review process. (16, 20)
One respondent pointed out that improved public education and engagement was an aim of the
original Agreement and was strongly reinforced during the negotiation of the Ozone Annex.
Further it was suggested that the effectiveness of actions under the Agreement can be greatly
increased if the public takes personal and collective steps toward energy efficiency and the
support of improved government legislation. Programs and organizations dedicated to public
engagement should be fostered as part of the actions under the Agreement. (32)
Views on Needed Additions to the Agreement
An annex dealing with greenhouse gases would be a logical addition as the air quality
benefits to be achieved through greenhouse gas reductions are numerous and inescap-
able.
As mentioned earlier, particulate matter (PM) could benefit from a similar approach to
that taken for ozone under the Agreement. It would also be useful for the parties to
focus more attention on this matter and to expedite the development of a particulate
matter Annex that would address health impacts experienced on both sides of the border.
The Ontario Medical Association has done a lot to quantify the impact of ozone and
particulate matter on society and there is a need to tighten ozone controls and to get on
with a particulate matter annex to the Agreement. (21, 26, 28, 30, 32)
The Ozone Annex should be strengthened when it is revisited in 2004. (26)
When the Agreement is revisited, it will be essential to determine the resulting health
impacts of actions undertaken by the Parties. Health tracking and reporting must be
implemented immediately. (26, 31, 32)
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