QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPPs Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre) and Jill Andrew (Toronto – St. Paul’s) announced that they will introduce a private member’s bill to improve indoor air safety. The bill will be co-sponsored by NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jamie West (Sudbury).
The bill is a result of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers’ Core Recommendations for Safer Indoor Air. If passed, Wong-Tam and Andrew’s bill will create an expert committee to make recommendations on lessons learned from the pandemic, including modifying legal requirements on the operations and maintenance of businesses, educating the public on indoor air quality, and supporting small businesses in making air quality improvements.
“This is one of the most important bills that will be brought before this Legislature,” said Andrew. “Improving air quality will save lives especially as the Ford Conservatives have irresponsibly removed mandatory masking in public indoor spaces."
“COVID is airborne and it will not be the last airborne disease that we will see,” Wong-Tam said. “By taking the right action today, making the right decisions today, and building the right infrastructure today, we can help pandemic proof Ontario. We can make changes so that we will never have to ask our businesses and institutions to close down again.”
“The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers’ core recommendations for indoor air quality measures has earned international attention from public health workers all across the globe, and their work deserves to be taken up here by our government,” said Wong-Tam.
“The cost of these improvements is minimal compared to other costs associated with dirty air, such as loss in productivity, sick days and health concerns. Cleaner should be a right just like clean water. COVID has been an indoor pandemic. The current standards and existing systems we have in place are inadequate.”
-Joseph Fox, chaired the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OPSE) Air Quality Advisory Group
“We can implement these measures now and prevent tremendous illness, death and disability from COVID-19. And also from as you have heard the inevitable future airborne pandemics, we will see save lives and a tremendous amount of health care dollars and lost work time.”
-Dr. Samantha Green, Doctor and public health advocate
“We're very confident to say that none of our employees ever got infected at work with COVID. It's quite remarkable considering that we work close to each other all day long. And we have a couple hundred customers sitting in the dining room every day without masks. There's just no downside to safer indoor air.”
-Franz Hochholdinger, owner of Apricot Tree Cafe in Mississauga, who has made air quality improvements at his business by installing high quality HEPA filters and publicly informing customers about indoor carbon dioxide concentrations