Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of British Columbia

Government of British Columbia

June 06, 2008 18:00 ET

Governments Take Action for Cleaner Air: Air Quality Alert System Now Permanent for British Columbians

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 6, 2008) - Ed Fast, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister John Baird and Health Minister Tony Clement, today announced that the National Air Quality Health Index pilot is moving from a pilot program to full implementation. This air quality alert system will now be available in 14 locations across the province.

The Air Quality Health Index is now available in Victoria / Saanich, Nanaimo / Parksville, Metro Vancouver, the Central and Eastern Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Okanagan, Prince George and Quesnel.

"Canadians are entitled to clean air, to know the quality of the air they breathe and what they can do to reduce harmful impacts of air pollution," said Mr. Fast. "By making British Columbia's Air Quality Health Index permanent, our Government is demonstrating that we are serious about cleaning up the air we breathe and improving the health of Canadians. This investment, combined with our Turning the Corner plan to cut air pollution from industry by 50 per cent, is what Canadians want and what we are delivering."

Canada's Air Quality Health Index, found at, provides real time information to Canadians on the quality of the air they're breathing so they can make the right decisions for their families. It is a key tool in preventing injury and illness to those with asthma or other respiratory illnesses. The project is supported jointly by the Governments of Canada, British Colombia and the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The full implementation of the program is part of the Government of Canada's $30 million investment to establish an air quality warning system across the country.

"Moving from the pilot phase to become fully operational is a significant milestone for the Air Quality Health Index," said B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner. "While I'm encouraged by data showing improved air quality in recent years in British Columbia, it's still important that both levels of government provide funding to help the B.C. Lung Association increase awareness that air quality affects peoples' health, and increase understanding of what the AQHI means and how to use it."

Today's announcement is part of a clean air initiative across Canada where Member of Parliament Mike Wallace announced the expansion of the Toronto air quality alert system to include the 5.3 million Canadians living in the six municipalities that make up the Greater Toronto Area.

This announcement compliments the Governments other clean air initiatives including the launch of a national vehicle scrappage program to get smog-producing cars off the road, tough new emissions standards to reduce air pollution from cars and limits on smog-producing chemicals in everyday products.

For more information about the Federal Government of Canada's environmental initiatives, please visit:

Egalement offert en francais

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Eric Richer
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Health
    Eric Waddell
    Press Secretary
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    Health Canada
    Renee Bergeron
    Media Relations
    Public enquiries:
    613-957-2991 / 1-866-225-0709
    For Air Quality Health Index
    Claude Cote (French) 506-452-4166
    Mike Howe (English) 506-451-6015