OUR VISION

All residents are be able to breathe clean air, in the Valley and in our neighbourhoods.
Our winter air is as clean as our summer air.
The Comox Valley is celebrated for having the cleanest air on Vancouver Island.

Change happens

Remember when doctors used to recommend cigarette brands and people smoked in planes, bars, restaurants, workplaces and cars with kids?
Change does happen.
We can get clean air in the Comox Valley.
But for it to happen, we need political will and leadership.
And that is where you come in! 

 

Help ensure change happens!

Contact your politicians and ask for:

1.Public education on health impacts of wood smoke and on clean energy alternatives.

2.Regulatory measures to:

  • Protect people’s right to clean air in their home; and
  • Reduce emissions and improve overall air quality

3.Better incentives for people to move to clean heating sources.

4.Immediate action. We know enough; it’s time to act!

We have prepared a CONTACT LIST of local and provincial emails (WORD file) that you can cut and paste into your correspondence.

A number of actions are needed to help clean up our air:

Shift to cleaner energy sources:
  • Individual households that currently burn wood need to shift to cleaner energy sources.
  • Public policy solutions need to be put in place to help people transition from wood heat to more affordable clean energy (e.g. through more and better rebates, tax incentives, etc.). Rebates should be provided only to those replacing a wood burning appliance with a cleaner, non-wood burning, source of heat. Taxpayers money should not be provided to people choosing to upgrade to another wood burning appliance as these pollute more than other sources of heat (read our critique of funding rebates for new wood stoves)..
  • Public policy solutions are also needed to keep the cost of electricity, our cleanest source of heat, affordable.
Education initiatives
  • More education on health impacts is needed so people are fully aware of the range of health impacts and costs linked to wood smoke pollution.
  • Education on cleaner heating options and benefits.
  • As a short-term step on the way to cleaner air, education for people who currently burn wood to help them  improve how they burn (in order to reduce the amount of pollution they put into the air).
Develop appropriate regulations and enforce them
  • Local and provincial governments need to develop and enforce regulations that deal with open burning, backyard burning and residential wood burning in a meaningful way.
    • We need regulations designed to reduce the amount of wood smoke in order to protect the whole valley. This may include measures such as:
      • Requiring woodstoves and fireplaces to be removed upon the sale of a house
      • Phasing in a decommissioning of all old wood stoves.
      • Disallowing the installation of new wood stoves or fireplaces in new homes or homes that do not currently have wood heat.
      • Banning all burning, including home heating (unless it is proven to be only source of heat) on poor air quality days.
      • Ensuring the new Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations stop open slash pile burning near and in populated areas.
      • Stop the burning of yard waste throughout the region.
    • We also need nuisance regulations so people whose health and well-being are directly impacted by burning in their neighbourhood can protect themselves in their own homes.