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Proposed Amendments to the Ontario Building Code

December 20, 2016

2017 Next Edition Building Code Consultation
c/o Building and Development Branch Ministry of Municipal Affairs
16th Floor, 777 Bay Street
Toronto ON M5G 2E5
 Dear Sir/Madame,
 Re: EBR Registry Number: 012-8208 – Proposed Amendments to the Ontario Building Code
 The Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) appreciates the opportunity to provide input on proposed amendments to the Ontario Building Code (OBC). OPHA is pleased to see that several updates to the OBC address issues of importance to public health and safety including: safer housing (accessibility, egress, stairs, ramps and hand rails); improving structural integrity of buildings to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change; indoor air quality (mold prevention, radon and other gases); inclusion of retirement homes in many of the safety measures; provisions for electric vehicles; energy and water conservation; and sewage disposal. Health Units across Ontario will find these measures supportive of the work they do to ensure healthy and safe environments, whether it is through health promotion, health protection, policy development or partnership engagement.
 Created in 1949, the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) is a not-for-profit organization committed to providing leadership on issues affecting the public‘s health and strengthening the impact of people who are active in public and community health throughout Ontario. Our mission is achieved by providing professional development, timely information and analysis on public health issues, access to multi-disciplinary networks, advocacy on healthy public policy and expertise and consultation.
 With a mandate under the Ontario Public Health Standards to increase public awareness and assist community partners to develop healthy policies related to indoor air quality; outdoor air quality; extreme weather; climate change; exposure to radiation; extreme weather; and built environments, the public health sector plays an important role in supporting and contributing to efforts of multi-sector partners such as municipal building and by-law enforcement, housing providers and provincial ministries. Under the Ontario Public Health Standards, Public Health Units are also mandated to consider health inequities when accessing the needs of local populations. To that end, OPHA is pleased to see that the proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code include actions to assist low-income households and vulnerable communities.

Please find outlined in the attached Appendix comments related to the proposed amendments to the Ontario Building Code organized sequentially, based on the structure of headings in your ministry’s Overview Summary Document. We would be pleased to discuss our feedback with you and provide any additional information.
 OPHA applauds the Province of Ontario for proposing changes to the Ontario Building Code that support public health and safety and provide for healthy homes and indoor environments for all residents.
 Thank you for consideration of our comments.
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