Ban Drive-Thrus in Canada

In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. --- That time is now.  -Dr. Wangari Maathai, Kenya's "Green Militant" and winner of Nobel Peace Prize, 2004

Drive-throughs are an incredible detriment to our environment and are a luxury item we can live without.

Climate Change is real. A grave threat to all life on this planet.  It is time to place our environment and the health and well being of our children ahead of business interests and profits.

I demand that all levels of government impose an immediate moratorium on all new commercial drive-through operations and establish a timetable to phase out all existing drive-through operations through zoning or other by-laws.

It Is Our Children%u2019s Future at Stake %u2013 Not Ours

Tonight we have an opportunity to be the first city in Canada to impose a moratorium on new drive-thrus.  We have an opportunity to send a message from our city to our country and the world that our children%u2019s health and climate change are top priorities - and our actions reflect this. A moratorium on new drive-thrus symbolizes our true commitment to tackling these issues.  Tonight we have the opportunity to put London on the map in Canada and the world thus inspiring other cities to follow our lead.  Cities and countries throughout the world have now recognized the extensive detrimental impact of plastic bags to our environment, life and ecosystems.  Recognizing after 30 years that plastic bags were a bad idea - cities and countries are now doing what is right and eliminating them.  The drive-thru is no different %u2013 other than the fact we do not see the damage close up in a literal sense.  We measure the damage in emissions, illnesses and deaths.  Far away %u2013 one can witness the glaciers melting faster than scientists previously thought possible and ice shelves breaking off.  For the first time in history - there are more environmental refugees than refugees displaced by war. This month - we reached the highest C02 emissions that our planet has ever witnesses in 650 000 years.  London currently has approx. 150 drive-thrus.  Surely we do not need more with almost smog days quadrupling since 1995 and asthma becoming a local, provincial, nation & global epidemic.  We now have almost two months of smog days per year in London.  We live in a smog belt.  Three million people a year are dying from air pollution.  That is eight thousand people per day.  Drive-thrus contribute to this.  Interesting enough %u2013 coinciding with a car culture that includes 60% of the 129 billion dollar fast food industry being conducted at the drive-thru window - asthma has increased four fold over the last twenty years.  Drive-thrus are a luxury %u2013 not a necessity.  If we cannot say yes to a moratorium %u2013 for the sake of our children%u2019s health and future on our planet %u2013 then how can we ever hope to tackle the big issues?  We must reduce our emissions annually by 2-3% to reach the target of 80% less emissions by 2050 which is imperative to future survival on this planet.  Opening new drive-thrus is heading in the absolute opposite direction we need to be taking as a global society.  Profits before children or children before profits?  Convenience before children or children before convenience?  The climate crisis will not respond to incremental modification of the business-as-usual model. There is an urgent need to re-conceive the issue we face as a sustainability emergency, that takes us beyond the politics of failure-inducing compromise. We need to recognize a climate and sustainability emergency, because we need to move at a pace far beyond business and politics as usual.  We can start tonight by imposing a moratorium on drive-thrus.  Children are the most vulnerable in our society. It is the responsibility of every adult citizen on our global planet to take every precaution to protect our children and mitigate against climate change. Corporations are not exempt.  Just as all children must have the right to clean drinking water, all children must have the right to breathe clean air and a secure future on our planet.%u201D   Let%u2019s kick the habit.  Let us be hero%u2019s to our children and impose a moratorium on all new drive thrus.

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