QUEEN’S PARK – Today Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP, reintroduced The Hawkins Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide detectors),which would require functioning carbon monoxide detectors in all Ontario homes that have a fuel burning appliance or attached garage.

“There have been too many lives lost due to carbon monoxide poisoning in tragedies that could have been prevented,” said Hardeman. “Putting a detector in your home and checking to make sure it working are small tasks, but they save lives.”

Hardeman’s bill was named after a family – Richard, Laurie (nee Gignac), Cassandra and Jordan Hawkins – that was tragically killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in late 2008 after the exhaust on their gas fireplace became blocked.

“It was exactly three years ago that we lost four members of our family in one of the biggest carbon monoxide tragedies in Canadian history,” said John Gignac, founder of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education.  “Now, with a new government in place and support from so many organizations, it is time to pass this law so the silent killer can’t claim any more lives in Ontario.  There is no reason to delay any longer.”

Hardeman previously introduced the Hawkins Gignac Act in December 2008 and May 2010. Although the bill passed first and second readings unanimously both times the government refused to allow the bill to move forward and as a result it died on the order paper when the Legislature was prorogued.

“This is a safety issue of extreme importance to all Ontarians,” said Frank Lamie, executive board member of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs.  “In fact, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs passed a resolution just last week recommending to Government that mandatory CO alarms be added to the fire code for all existing properties that have fuel-fired appliances.”

In 2009-2010, 850 Ontarians were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in a hospital or clinic.

“For homes with fuel-fired heating systems and appliances, there are multiple potential sources of carbon monoxide,” said Andy Glynn, deputy fire chief for Oakville and OAFC representative who was at Queen’s Park for the introduction.  “This Bill has the support of fire chiefs across the province because all families, regardless of the age of their home, need protection from this silent killer.”

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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239