Breathe Clean Air circulated a questionnaire on air quality to the four candidates running in the November 2021 Comox byelection.
We asked five questions (see below) and provided background and links to research for each.
These are the questions in their short-form.
- Are you concerned about winter air quality in Comox and how it is affecting people’s health?
- If elected, do you commit to working to ensure meaningful, multi-pronged strategies for reducing wood stove pollution are created and implemented?
- Do you commit to keeping Comox’s “no new installation” rules in place, to prevent the increase in number of wood burning appliances in town?
- Do you agree that replacing older wood stoves with newer, certified stoves is not an effective approach to improving air quality in populated areas?
- If elected, do you commit to ensuring there are workable and fair bylaws that will help neighbours protect their families and property from harmful amounts of smoke?
Three of the four replied (reminders were sent to Judy Johnson who did not respond).
We were pleased to see that the three respondents all said they were concerned about air quality and also said ‘yes’ to working on strategies to reduce wood stove pollution and to keeping the ‘no new installation’ rules in place.
One candidate, Jonathan Kerr, also answered ‘yes’ to the remaining questions, which indicates the greatest alignment with Breathe Clean Air’s approach to dealing with wood smoke in our towns.
Steve Blacklock and Don Davis both said “no” to the question “Do you agree that replacing older wood stoves with newer, certified stoves is not an effective approach to improving air quality in populated areas?”
Blacklock also did not “commit to ensuring there are workable and fair bylaws that will help neighbours protect their families and property from harmful amounts of smoke.” In part, according to his comments, he felt conversation and education were better and less expensive approaches.
Read all of the candidate’s responses (PDF), including their additional comments and explanations.
Raise your concerns
As candidates knock on your door, or talk at events, please continue to bring up air quality. Share your personal stories about how our poor air quality impacts you or your family, or ask them to clarify their positions on this important topic. Change happens when people speak up.