Hardeman Asks for Missing Air Quality Data

QUEEN’S PARK –In the Ontario Legislature this week Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford, asked the Minister of Environment and Climate Change again to provide air quality monitoring data from Beachville starting in 2003.

“Minister, for months we have been trying to get air quality data for the Beachville area from your ministry,” said Hardeman. “People who live there want to know the test results since the last public report was issued in 2003 but all your Ministry has given us is six months of data.”

Hardeman asked the Minister of Environment to provide this data during the summer session. However, the Minister only publicly released data from August 2013 to January 2014. In July 2014 Hardeman wrote to the Minister and asked for the missing data. The Minister’s October 6th response was that the data had to be obtained through the formal Freedom of Information process.

“Minister, are you honestly telling me that the people of Beachville need to pay your government $600 to find out if the air they have been breathing is safe,” said Hardeman during the question.

Hardeman was encouraged by the Minister’s response that he would look into it and provide an answer promptly but disappointed that the Minister did not address Hardeman’s request for the Ministry to refund the FOI fees that had been paid.

“Your government claims to be open and transparent but people are being refused information about the quality of air they breathe,” said Hardeman.

Hardeman pointed out that the Ministry of Environment’s Operations Manual for Air Quality Monitoring in Ontario produced in March 2008 states that monitoring data, as well as, quarterly and annual reports are to be made publicly available.

“All the people of Beachville want is to know the air they have been breathing is safe,” said Hardeman. “Minister, will you do the right thing, refund the FOI fees and release the air quality monitoring data from 2003 forward?”

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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239