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Media Advisory

June 15, 2009

TORONTO BOARD OF HEALTH DISCUSSES METROLINX’ HEALTH STUDIES –
THE CLEAN TRAIN COALITION VOICES ITS CONCERNS FOR CHILDREN’S HEALTH

Toronto, June 15 – The Clean Train Coalition will be presenting deputations at a Toronto Board of Health Meeting on Monday, June 15, where the Board of Health will be discussing the Toronto Medical Officer of Health report on Metrolinx’ health studies on its proposed Georgetown South Service Expansion and Union-
Pearson Rail Link project.

The Clean Train Coalition supports the City of Toronto’s call for accelerating electrification of the Union-Pearson corridor, including the airport express. The Clean Train Coalition believes that a cost-effective,healthy alternative exists in electrification and considers that taxpayers’ dollars are not well spent on dieselbased “interim” measures of such a magnitude that would have negative impacts to human health and air quality.

The Clean Train Coalition is asking the City and the Board of Health to recommend that Metrolinx start work to electrify this route immediately, as it is planned to be the most heavily traveled rail corridor in the region
by 2014.

“Diesel fumes contain a ‘chemical’ soup of hundreds of toxic air contaminants – including arsenic, benzene, cadmium, dioxins, lead, and mercury – that are known to cause cancer, developmental and reproductive disorders and respiratory problems. Why would we knowingly put the health of our children at risk, when
electrification is a clean alternative?” asked Lin Grist, leader of the Clean Train Coalition’s health advisory team.

Keith Brooks, environmental scientist and new father, said “I am going to ask the Board of Health to do everything within their power to safeguard the health of my child and that of the thousands of other children who would be affected by diesel-based intensification of rail traffic on this corridor.”

DATE: Monday, June 15, 2009
TIME: 1:00 p.m. (MOH report is 4th item on the agenda)
LOCATION: Committee Room 1, Toronto City Hall

There will be an opportunity to interview members of the Clean Train Coalition’s health advisory team, including Lin Grist and Keith Brooks, who will also have his 10-month-old son present.

Media Contact: Carina Cojeen 416-886-2320

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MOH report on the Metrolinx health studies:
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2009/hl/bgrd/backgroundfile-21895.pdf

The Clean Train Coalition represents the communities along the rail corridor. We believe that a healthy environment and vibrant neighbourhoods depend on smart investment in public transit infrastructure. Build it once, build it right! www.cleantrain.ca

 

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