City Council expressed its support for International Car Free Day, an annual event celebrated by 100 million people in 1,500 cities around the world that is supported by the European Union, the United Nations and the federal government. Car Free Day began in Canada on September 22, 2001 when Toronto became the first North American city to officially host a Car Free Day event. Car Free Day street events and forums highlight the many problems caused by the dependence on automobiles, including air pollution, global warming, stress and safety issues. This international event emphasizes the rights of pedestrians and cyclists, the need for more and better public transit, and helps people rediscover their local community outside the confines of their vehicles. In November 2007, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health released a study estimating that vehicle-borne pollution contributes to about 440 premature deaths in Toronto and costs the city’s economy $2.2 billion each year.