Dear everyone, if you are Canadian, please sign this petition, and no matter where you are, please share this with all the Canadians you know!
e-2729 Petition to the Government of Canada
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Create an international classification of disease designation code in Canada for environmental sensitivities so that those affected may have access to medical care;
2. Include environmental sensitivities as a disability that must be accommodated on all relevant documents and forms in governmental departments and organizations that minister social assistance, housing, medical, and other public services; and
3. Ensure all indoor public spaces are declared scent and fragrance-free.
Relevant background material:
The Canadian Human Rights Commission states in
“Environmental sensitivity and scent-free policies” (2019):
“People who have allergies or sensitivity to certain products may have a bad reaction to a much lower level of chemicals, perfumes or environmental triggers than the average person.
Their reaction is a medical condition. It is a recognized disability.
People with allergies or environmental sensitivity are entitled to protection from its cause.”
but it has still fallen on individuals to have to try to fight organizations one at a time, over and over again, to get an accessibility policy made, never mind enforced.
The air quality effects are as bad as if smoking was allowed everywhere. It’s like everything in the world is up stairs if you use a wheelchair to get around. It’s like any time you need to access anything (food, medical care, clothing, housing, transportation, etc) you are subjected to a beating that leaves you with a headache, breathing difficulties, body pain, and cognitive challenges for a week.
From ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA):
“Accepting the leadership offered by the Task Force on Environmental Health to address the health care system, proactive change can begin immediately at all levels of society including federal, provincial, and municipal governments and public departments and agencies.
These would include, but are not limited to, public transportation providers, school boards, and the private sector.”
2. A corporate challenge is needed to address environmental triggers in the private sector in three major respects: workplaces, consumer product pricing and housing:
a. As described in Recommendation 1 above, corporate workplace policies should be developed to address procurement, scent-free policies, and other means to reduce environmental triggers in workplaces, particularly in front-line/public-facing services and departments,
“We must find creative ways of ensuring public understanding, respect and adherence to providing the least toxic environment for all Ontarians. It may be trite to say everyone will benefit from living in the least toxic environment, but that is the task going forward.”
~ ARCH Disability Law Centre and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA),”The Legal Rights and Challenges Faced by Persons with Chronic Disability Triggered by Environmental Factors”
The Honourable David C. Onley, the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2007-2014) was appointed to lead the Third Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
He found that “For most disabled persons, Ontario is not a place of opportunity but one of countless, dispiriting, soul-crushing barriers”
Several mentions of ES, and a specific recommendation on pg 80:
7. Ensure that accessibility standards respond to the needs of people with environmental sensitivities.
We need a big show of support now to get the ball rolling!
Video from Marie LeBlanc, who initiated the petition on all our behalf:
e-2729 Petition to the Government of Canada:
Much gratitude to Marie LeBlanc, Artist/Advocate, and Jenel at the Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba, for their tireless efforts in getting this petition together, and to Paul Manly, Green MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, British Columbia, for his support to get the petition posted.
If thousands of Canadians sign this petition in support of those of us who have disabling chemical and environmental ‘sensitivities’, it will make a real difference in our lives.
Perhaps now that almost everyone has had a small taste of being housebound, of not being able to access what is needed when we need it, of having to wear masks, of not knowing if or when our health and abilities will be impacted, by how much, or for how long, of being isolated and not being able to do the things we’ve been accustomed to doing, not being able to see friends or family or the many other things we take for granted until they aren’t available or accessible anymore… perhaps now people can understand a little what it’s been like for us, when we can’t access basic essentials like health care, housing, food, clothing, work, friends and family, etc., due to barriers like fragranced products, barriers that could easily be removed if health, well-being, and human abilities mattered more in policy making than certain segments of the economy do.
Those of us with MCS/ES would like access to the world again too!
e-2729 Petition to the Government of Canada:
Please sign and share!