Doctors Urge Caution on Impacts of Downtown Airport Expansion

Physicians Organized as Medical Reform Group Support Board of Health Decision in Statement Medical Reform Group TORONTO - The Medical Reform Group today calls on Toronto City Council to support Board of Health recommendations that theToronto Island Airport land be used in a manner that is most supportive of health and consistent with the vision for the Toronto Waterfront. This would go firmly in opposition to the proposed expansion of the airport to include jets. The Toronto Board of Health’s rapid Health Impact Assessment highlights the concerns with current and expanded operations including air pollution, climate change, water quality, safety and enjoyment at the Waterfront. The assessment was completed by the same firm that earlier advised the city to reduce current emissions from transportation sources because of saturation of the air shed with pollutants. "Even the status quo is a problem for health, meaning an expansion to include jets would be a step in the wrong direction,” stated Dr. Miriam Garfinkle, an MRG spokesperson. “ The health impact assessment gives us the information we need to make this decision, and city council should certainly vote against an expansion.” “It is regrettable that the health impact assessment was rushed to fit into the timeline imposed by Porter which precludes the consideration of other variables like the runway extension ”said Dr. Susan Woolhouse, another MRG spokesperson. She added ,“The interests of corporations should not be allowed to trump public health, safety and community well-being, and so we urge the Council to oppose the expansion.” The Medical Reform Group is a voluntary organization of physicians, residents, and medical students committed to evidence-based healthcare policy Link to PR: http://www.medicalreformgroup.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/MRG-release-Dec-9th-2013-on-City-Airport-Expansion.pdf