toronto diwali 2022

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. 

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.

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.

Toronto bylaw currently states fireworks on private property are only allowed on Canada Day and Victoria Day, with any other celebrations needing a permit.

Others said the warning was a slap in the face given that today's municipal election is also taking place on Diwali.

"Light winds and stagnating weather conditions are expected to contribute to increasing levels of air pollution," reads the new statement.

Similar statements were also issued for Brampton and Mississauga.

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