To: Minister Lecce, Premier Ford and all MPPs

Support Improving Air Quality Standards for Schools & Childcare Centres - Bill 140

I am writing to urge you to support the recent private Member’s Bill 140, Improving Air Quality for Our Children Act, which addresses the critical importance of air quality in schools and childcare centres. As a concerned member of our community, I deeply appreciate the efforts made by our school board to prioritize the well-being and safety of our students and education workers. As a constituent, I am asking for your support for this bill.

At the core of the bill is a crucial message: Indoor air quality must be measured to ensure it meets current standards. Direct measurement is necessary to ensure our students learn in an environment that supports their health and academic progress.

Better indoor air quality means a stable, healthy school year, with fewer sick days and improved learning outcomes. Students and education workers deserve to learn and work in healthy buildings with clean air.

Currently, there are no regulations in Ontario that clearly define standards for indoor air quality in schools. This bill represents an important first step in providing clean air standards for the people of Ontario. Other jurisdictions have recognized the importance of clean air; classroom CO2 monitors are already in use in Québec and in other cities and countries around the world.

Providing clean air standards will help Ontario stay competitive. The cost of implementing indoor air quality solutions is far less than the costs of lost learning and absences due to illness.

Thank you for your attention to this vital matter. Supporting the bill and advocating for its approval will undoubtedly make a lasting difference in the lives of our students, education workers and our entire community.

Why is this important?

Without the backing of our Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), Bill 140 faces the risk of being shelved, depriving our schools, students and education workers of the chance for a healthier learning and working environment.

Clean indoor is important:

Health and Safety: Poor air quality can lead to a range of health issues, including respiratory problems, allergies, and the spread of infectious diseases. Ensuring that the air quality in schools meets current standards is a fundamental step in protecting the well-being of those who spend significant amounts of time in educational settings.

Educational Outcomes: There is a well-documented link between air quality and cognitive function. Cleaner air can improve concentration, productivity, and overall academic performance.

Transparency and Accountability: By mandating the public reporting of CO2 levels, this bill promotes transparency, allowing parents and the wider community to be informed about the air quality in schools and childcare centers. This information is critical for ensuring accountability and pushing for necessary improvements.

Proactive Health Measures: The requirement for an Air Quality Action Plan ensures that there are predefined steps to take when air quality drops, potentially preventing health issues before they arise and ensuring a quick response to any air quality concerns.

Economic Sense: Investing in better air quality has economic benefits. By reducing the number of sick days for both students and staff, there is less disruption to learning and work, which has a positive impact on productivity and educational outcomes. Additionally, the long-term healthcare savings from preventing air quality-related illnesses can be substantial.

Setting Standards: Ontario currently lacks clear regulations for indoor air quality in schools, putting students and staff at a disadvantage. Implementing such standards would not only protect them but also position Ontario as a leader in educational health and safety standards.

Global Competitiveness: Other regions that have adopted similar measures have seen positive outcomes. Supporting this bill would allow Ontario to keep pace with global best practices in educational and childcare environments, making it a more attractive place to live, work, and learn.

Long-Term Benefits: The investment in air quality monitoring and improvement is not just a short-term fix; it's an investment in the future health and cognitive abilities of the community’s children. Healthy students are more likely to grow into healthy adults, contributing positively to society.

With the support of Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), we can implement vital measures like Bill 140 to ensure our schools have clean air, thereby securing a safer, healthier, and more academically conducive future for our students and education workers.