Canadian Cancer Society to attend the Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference

16 August 2013

Ottawa -

As municipal and provincial representatives gather in Ottawa for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) AGM and annual conference, the Canadian Cancer Society is calling on elected officials to support policies that will improve public health and reduce the risk of cancer.

“The Society recognizes the important leadership role municipalities and the provincial government have in ensuring healthy communities across the province,” says Florentina Stancu-Soare, Senior Coordinator, Public Issues, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “This is why we are challenging officials to take a more active role in the fight against cancer by supporting legislation that prevents cancer.”

The Society is urging delegates and other elected officials participating in the AMO annual conference to take action by:

  • implementing outdoor smoke-free bylaws, including patios, parks, and other public spaces;
  • protecting youth under the age of 18 from indoor tanning and restricting the marketing and promotion that goes along with it by supporting provincial legislation;
  • protecting Ontarians from environmental and occupational exposures to toxics; and
  • speaking with Canadian Cancer Society representatives in the Exhibit Hall to learn about the Society and what can be done to keep communities healthy.

Approximately 30 per cent of cancer deaths and 85 per cent of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco. Of the 444 Ontario municipalities attending the conference, over 100 municipalities have passed outdoor smoke-free bylaws to protect the health of their citizens.

Woman in tanning bed

Melanoma skin cancer is one of the most common forms of skin cancer in young Ontarians aged 15 – 29 years of age, and is one of the most preventable.

“Indoor tanning causes cancer,” says Stancu-Soare. “We have been working tirelessly in challenging our elected leaders to take action and support a ban on tanning bed usage for youth under 18.”

Indoor-tanning bylaws have been passed in the Town of Oakville, Region of Peel (which includes Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga) and the City of Belleville.

A recent poll showed that 96 per cent of Ontarians feel it is their right to be informed about toxic chemicals they are exposed to in their workplace. 92 per cent of Ontarians agree that businesses should reduce the use and release of potentially toxic substances into land, air and water in order to create a healthier environment and protect people from potential harm. Provincial and Federal reporting laws only include large industries. Municipal bylaws are needed to ensure toxic substances used in small and medium facilities are also tracked and recorded.

The Society believes that working with government and legislators to bring about healthy public policies is a vital part of the fight against cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Susan Fekete

Communications Manager

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 613-565-2522 ext 4985