QUEEN’S PARK- Today, Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP, reintroduced his private members bill, the Hawkins Gignac Act which would protect Ontario families by requiring carbon monoxide detectors in all homes.

“I am committed to this bill because it can and will save lives,” said Hardeman. “Since the Legislature was prorogued we had another carbon monoxide tragedy when a senior in Tiny Township was poisoned in his home just after Christmas.”

The Hawkins Gignac Act is named after a Woodstock family – Laurie (nee Gignac) and Richard Hawkins and their children Cassandra and Jordan who were tragically killed by carbon monoxide in their Woodstock home in 2008.

The bill would require carbon monoxide alarms in all homes that have either a fuel burning appliance or an attached storage garage. In multi-residential buildings detectors would be required in suites with a fuel burning appliance or adjacent to a garage or service room with a fuel burning appliance. Currently detectors are only required in homes built after August 6, 2001.

“There is simply no way to know if there is carbon monoxide gas building up in your home unless you have a carbon monoxide alarm,” said Hardeman. “That is what makes the gas so dangerous and this bill so necessary.”

In January 2012, a Whitehorse family of four and a boarder living in the house were killed by carbon monoxide due to a faulty chimney. On February 16, 2013 the Government of Yukon announced legislation to require carbon monoxide detectors in all homes with a fuel burning appliance.

“I commend the Government of Yukon for taking steps to prevent more tragedies, but I’m disheartened to compare it to Ontario and see how difficult the process has been here,” said Hardeman.

This is the fourth time Hardeman has introduced the Hawkins Gignac Act. The most recent was passed by the Legislative Committee on Social Policy, with all party support. Unfortunately the bill once again died on the order paper when the legislature was prorogued in October.

“I am encouraged every time someone tells me they have installed a carbon monoxide alarm in their family home,” said Hardeman. “I hope that rather than waiting for this bill to pass more people will protect themselves and their families by installing a carbon monoxide detector.”
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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239