You just can’t make this stuff up! Smithers Council received a notification that current levels of air pollution constitute a public health hazard, so they notify the Chief Medical Health Officer of the hazard and then… Guess!!! They voted to make it worse!! Isn’t that original? Clever? Diligent? Protective?
Well, actually, original, I hope, clever, no, diligent, no, protective, no. Still one out of four isn’t bad…
There’s more. There is a (inadequate, feeble) national standard for ambient PM2.5. The Central Interior Air Zone Report issued by the Province clearly shows that Smithers isn’t meeting that standard. Even as things stand now. So adding a new source will do what??? Make it better?? Make it worse?? Guess!!
details, details, details
The Province of BC, like all Canadian jurisdictions, is bound by the Constitution Act of 1982. And one part of the Act is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And section 7 of the Charter says, ” Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”
The emissions permit for NEWPRO authorizes the discharge of air contaminants. Air contaminants are not defined in the permit but are in the enabling legislation, the Environmental Management Act, which has this to say –
“air contaminant” means a substance that is introduced into the air and that
(a) injures or is capable of injuring the health or safety of a person,
(b) injures or is capable of injuring property or any life form,
(c) interferes with or is capable of interfering with visibility,
(d) interferes with or is capable of interfering with the normal conduct of business,
(e) causes or is capable of causing material physical discomfort to a person, or
(f) damages or is capable of damaging the environment;”
Well since the Supreme Court has clarified that section 7 includes the right to health, and since stress is included (see Blencoe vs BC) we can see that issuing a permit that authorises harm to identifiable people is contrary to this Charter right. Courts routinely strike down laws that conflict with the Charter.
It’s time this one went to court.