Media Release: Maximum Heat By-Law Necessary to Protect Vulnerable Communities

CELA and LIEN call on Hamilton Public Health Committee to protect vulnerable communities from extreme heat events by creating a maximum heat by-law

Immediate Release

May 12, 2023

Hamilton – Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and the Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) will ask the City of Hamilton to take action to protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of extreme heat events by creating a maximum heat by-law.

CELA and LIEN, alongside Hamilton ACORN and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, will delegate to the City of Hamilton’s Public Health Committee on Monday, May 15 at 9:30 am regarding the City’s new proposed “Community Heat Response Plan”.

Temperatures are rising in Canada. As global temperatures continue to increase because of climate change, so will the length, frequency, and intensity of extreme heat events.

Extreme heat events – like many climate change impacts – disproportionally impact low-income people and have major health implications. Various life-threatening conditions can occur when the body cannot maintain its core temperature, including dehydration, cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and death.

Equity concerns must be built into any policy measure to address extreme heat as certain populations are more at risk for heat-related illnesses and death. These populations include seniors, infants, and young children, individuals with chronic illnesses and mobility challenges, and individuals that are socially disadvantaged.

On the agenda for Monday’s meeting is the City of Hamilton’s new proposed “Community Heat Response Plan”. Although the plan is an important step in acknowledging the harmful impacts of heat on Hamiltonians, CELA, LIEN, and other allies will be delegating to request the City of Hamilton go further and proactively take action.

The allied organizations will be requesting that the City create a maximum heat by-law, which recognizes a maximum indoor temperature of 26 degrees Celsius in rental units to ensure the health and safety of its residents.

– 30 –

Additional information online:

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jacqueline Wilson, Counsel, or 416-960-2284 ext. 7213

Canadian Environmental Law Association (“CELA”) is a public interest law clinic dedicated to environmental equity, justice, and health. Founded in 1970, CELA is one of the oldest environmental advocates for environmental protection in the country. With funding from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO),  CELA provides free legal services relating to environmental justice in Ontario, including representing qualifying low-income and vulnerable or disadvantaged communities in litigation. CELA also works on environmental legal education and reform initiatives.

Low Income Energy Network (“LIEN”) has a vision for an Ontario where everyone has equitable access to conservation and financial assistance programs and services to meet their basic energy needs affordably and sustainably.