Elected officials in Ontario have put forth a private members’ bills for legislation that would require improved indoor air quality in all workplaces and public spaces.
Meanwhile in New Brunswick, the Official Opposition’s motion to “update the New Brunswick Clean Air Act and improve air quality in public buildings to reduce the spread of airborne illnesses, such as COVID-19 has passed unanimously".
Protect our Province BC has provided a draft letter that you can customize to send to your MLA, demanding that they bring forward a similar bill here in BC.You can find your MLA’s contact information using this tool.
Download a PDF of the letter here to print out, sign, and mail to your MLA
click this link to send an email (you will need to type in your MLA's email address, your name, and your riding)
To: <your MLA> ____________________________
Subject: Private Member’s Bill regulating indoor air quality standards in all workplaces and public spaces in BC
I am a resident of ___________________ and I am writing to you as my government representative, one who has both the duty and the responsibility to ensure that conditions that harm the lives and health of their constituents are minimized to the greatest extent possible.
I am writing to ask that you bring forward a Private Member’s Bill to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The Bill should regulate the indoor air quality standards in all workplaces and public settings across British Columbia.
These air quality standards should address, but not be limited to, the harmful particulate matters from pollution, smoke fires, industrial occupations (asbestos, silica, etc.) and from inhalation of infectious respiratory aerosols.
The Bill should include the legal requirement for monitoring of indoor air quality, real-time public display, mandated reporting and improving indoor air quality systems to meet the legislated new indoor air quality standards.
To this day, the public is uninformed of how SARS-CoV-2 spreads in shared indoor air, both near and far, via aerosols just as cigarette smoke does. This was acknowledged early, in September 2020, by Dr. Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. Airborne transmission of the virus has also been recognized by the White House and Dr. Fauci, former NIAID Director and chief medical adviser to President Biden.
On March 27 2023, an Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament tabled a New Private Member’s Bill to protect the people of Ontario and the economy from airborne pandemics. “If it becomes law, the bill would empower the committee to make recommendations related to ‘ventilation, filtration, and other air cleaning methods to reduce the transmission of airborne diseases.’”
On June 8, 2023, a motion of the Official Opposition in New Brunswick was unanimously passed. It seeks to modernize the existing air quality laws and standards through strengthening the province’s Clean Air Act.The ultimate goal is to improve air quality in public buildings and reduce the spread of airborne illnesses, such as COVID-19, along with other “airborne contaminants and other harmful agents.”
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced, on June 27 2023, the approval of the new ground breaking Standard 241. “ASHRAE Standard 241, Control of Infectious Aerosols” establishes minimum requirements to reduce the risk of disease transmission by exposure to infectious aerosols in new buildings, existing buildings, and major renovations.”
In 2023, as we face the concurrent threats of climate crisis and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a dangerous airborne virus (SARS-CoV-2), we must urgently address indoor air quality in all workplaces and public buildings so that we can protect the health and wellbeing of all who call British Columbia home, now and into the future.
The 2022 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declaration stated that a “clean, healthy and sustainable environment” is a universal human right. This human right is unachievable without the provision of “clean air.”
Please advise me what the next steps will be for British Columbia to follow the lead of Ontario and New Brunswick in this important and urgent matter.