Statement on Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

November 1, 2016

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I’m pleased to rise today to recognize the third annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. This week was created by my bill, the Hawkins Gignac Act, which required Ontario homes with a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage to have a carbon monoxide detector. You cannot smell or taste carbon monoxide, so having a working alarm is the only protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.

I would like to commend the hard work of our fire and emergency response services in getting this important message out in their communities. Later this week, I will be joining the Woodstock Fire Department in a ride-along to deliver free pizzas to customers with working CO alarms. I’ve also heard of the great work being done by departments across the province, such as the Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services’ C.H.I.R.P. program, where firefighters provide free home alarm checks to residents.

I would also like to recognize John Gignac, founder of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education and the uncle of Laurie Hawkins, whose family was tragically lost to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home in Woodstock. John has been instrumental in increasing awareness of carbon monoxide alarms across Canada.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check your alarms and ensure that vents and chimneys are clear and that fuel-burning appliances are serviced.

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, but when we raise awareness about its dangers and the importance of working alarms, we can protect our families and save lives. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I encourage them all to get one.