Canada Toxic, Eh

Want to guess who is doing more to stop pollution, the US or Canada?
Canada Not Doing Enough to Curb Toxic Admissions
The annual Taking Stock report, drawn from submissions by more than 20,000 polluters in the United States and Canada, shows that Canada is lagging the United States in curbing toxic pollution. Although total North American emissions declined by 18 per cent from 1998 to 2001, Canadian emissions rose three per cent.
Strangely enough I was not surprised at the results of the study. I used to know people in Los Angel’s Air Quality Management, and they were very on top of the emissions of companies in the LA area. They made them toe the line pretty hard and lots of new equipment was required to pass inspection under the Federal rules. As a result LA’s air quality has improved, although it is still not as clean as it could be. Nice to see that the rest of the country is also lowering pollution.


As in previous years, Ontario was the third-biggest polluting jurisdiction on the continent after North Carolina and Ohio, says the report by the Commission for Environmental Co-operation.
That’s a statistic comparing apples to apples as all are manufacturing centers and the base population in January 2000 was around 11.5 million in both Ontario and Ohio.
Canada’s poorer record in curbing toxics is probably due to the lack of federal air-quality legislation, William Kennedy, executive director of the commission, said in an interview. The U.S. Clean Air Act sets binding regulations for air polluters, but Ottawa depends mainly on voluntary and negotiated agreements.
That’s an interesting point. Canada relies on “corporate responsibility” to police emission. Personally I don’t think most corporations toe the line out of the goodness of their heart and you have to crack the whip for them to do the right thing. In the USA the EPA mandates and enforces the rules. The US laws have some decent teeth, and some fairly clear regulations to follow. Canada looks like they sort of wing it, and their Pollution Pigeons are coming home to roost.
I also wonder how Canada would have followed the dictates of the Kyoto Treaty, if they could not enforce the reduction of Greenhouse Gases and toxic emissions? Another case of socialist fantasy failing to live up to the capitalist reality.
Canada needs to deal with this issue now before they become the Gross Black North.

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