Joe Mihevc is Toronto’s city councillor representing Ward 21, St. Paul’s West. He is an advocate for strong neighbourhoods, healthy communities, a clean environment and safe streets.

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Path to healthier air new study confirms traffic reduction needed

A new study by Toronto Public Health, Path to Healthier Air: Toronto Air Pollution Burden of Illness Update, shows that air pollution results in approximately 1,300 premature deaths and 3,550 hospitalizations annually in Toronto. Air pollution is also known to cause cardiovascular and respiratory health problems, affect birth outcomes, and is linked to cancer, chronic diseases and other illnesses.

“Healthy public policy can make a difference in saving lives,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “This report shows that we are better off than we were, but air pollution still has a serious impact on health. More work is needed to reduce emissions and reduce health risks.”

According to the study, there has been a decrease of 23 per cent in premature deaths and 41 per cent in hospitalizations over the past decade, as government policies and programs, such as the phase-out of coal-fired power generation and the City of Toronto’s low sulfur fuel purchasing have helped to reduce emissions.

The largest local source of air pollution is motor vehicle traffic, accounting for approximately 280 premature deaths and 1,090 hospitalizations in Toronto.  Read more

Transportation Services’ action plan for the 2014 Spring clean up

Transportation Services will be commencing a City-wide Spring clean-up in Ward 21 between May 5th – May 16th.  The following will take place as they  move through the ward:

  • Roadway sweepers are running routes on arterials, collectors and then locals with activated extra mechanical sweepers due to the heavy grit and twig debris left on the roads after the harsh winter
  • Sidewalk sweepers are running prescribed routes, cleaning mostly along Arterial and Collector roads, including boulevard areas
  • Hand crews are out bagging and removing litter at various locations, including boulevards with significant winter debris and without property frontage
  • Crews and contracted staff are performing graffiti removal on a daily basis
  • Debris/Illegal dumping is being identified and removed
  • Hand crews will be responding to requests from MLS for debris removal in the road allowance
  • Boulevard maintenance by-laws are being enforced (eg providing notices, etc.)
  • Staff will be calling retail locations to pick up property if the owner is known (eg shopping carts on the boulevard)