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Election halts air-quality recommendations

The federal election has put the brakes on a committee that was working to improve air quality regulations.

The committee, representing the federal and provincial governments, industry associations and non-governmental groups, was scheduled to report to the federal cabinet in mid-September.

Lisa Gue, an environmental health policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation and a member of the committee, told The Tyee that she received confirmation Monday morning that the committee’s planned meetings have been cancelled.

“My understanding is that the federal government is not able to participate in the process during an election,” she said.

She said the timing is unfortunate because the group had made progress over the summer and was nearing completion of its recommendations.

Gue said the non-governmental members of the committee are still trying to figure out what the impact of the cancellations will be.

“Definitely we think that air quality issues will be on the agenda for whoever forms the government after this election,” Gue said.

The committee was formed in response to complaints about the Conservative government’s air quality regulations, which were announced in April 2007.

Both industry and environmental groups complained that they had been left out of the process that led to the regulations.

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