Environment Canada changes tune after insensitive Toronto Diwali air pollution statement
A weather warning issued for Toronto via Environment Canada has been reissued following widespread back-lash.
Earlier today, the government agency released a special air quality statement citing the potential for increased air pollution in Toronto and surrounding areas due to Diwali fireworks.
"Air quality may deteriorate if the smoke from fireworks remains at or descends to ground level," read the original statement.
I have never seen an air quality warning due to fireworks for Canada Day or Victoria Day or NYE, only Diwali. If air quality statements for fireworks are now a thing it’s incredibly problematic to roll this out for the first time today: pic.twitter.com/Wb9ikNNQMQ— Krista Coughlin (@kristacoughlin) October 24, 2022
However, many people have said the statement is out of line as the government agency didn't release any warning for other holidays where fireworks are usually ignited en masse, like Canada Day or New Year's Eve.
I don’t recall Environment Canada ever issuing a warning about fireworks regarding air quality concerns on Canada Day, New Years or Halloween. https://t.co/x7CSZHU9Ti— Ahmar Khan (@AhmarSKhan) October 24, 2022
As of 2:30 p.m., Environment Canada's statement had changed, removing all mention of Diwali, simply stating tonight's "meteorological conditions" can lead to deteriorating air quality.
Man, Toronto really hating on Diwali.— Kashmala Fida Mohatarem (@KashFida) October 24, 2022
First they decide to hold an election today and then Environment Canada decides that fireworks are bad cuz pollution?
(Will these "air quality" warnings be a thing for Canada Day, New Year's @environmentca ??)
Toronto bylaw currently states fireworks on private property are only allowed on Canada Day and Victoria Day, with any other celebrations needing a permit.
Wow just because it’s Diwali they release this saying that the fireworks are causing air pollution 😬😒 What about the other holidays pic.twitter.com/2unZoxap4W— ૐ (@borntoruntj) October 24, 2022
Others said the warning was a slap in the face given that today's municipal election is also taking place on Diwali.
I’m sorta new to Toronto and have to ask, are Diwali fireworks here really on a scale that would be more responsible for bad air quality than the regular massive amount of burnt gasoline from vehicular traffic? Are the two even comparable? Why even mention this? pic.twitter.com/XCJFBCnpFG— The Yeti of Kananaskis ☭ (@LordOfTheYeti1) October 24, 2022
"Light winds and stagnating weather conditions are expected to contribute to increasing levels of air pollution," reads the new statement.
This Diwali fireworks air quality warning for Toronto is one the weirdest things I’ve seen in a long time … and y’all, we have lived through some weird shit lately. 💥— Dave ™ (@d_phrase) October 24, 2022
Similar statements were also issued for Brampton and Mississauga.
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