Hawkins-Gignac Act Passes 2nd Reading

QUEEN’S PARK – Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman’s Private Members’ Bill, the Hawkins-Gignac Act, which would see carbon monoxide detectors made mandatory in Ontario homes, passed second reading today.

“I am truly excited by the result today,” said Hardeman. “The fight is not over yet, but we’re one step closer to protecting Ontario families against the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

The bill was first introduced in 2008 after Laurie and Richard Hawkins and their two children, 14 year old Cassandra and 12 year old Jordan, were tragically killed by carbon monoxide poisoning.

The incident sparked Hardeman’s Private Members’ Bill, which is part of the recent government programming motion and will hopefully be up for third reading and royal assent before Christmas. The tragedy also led John Gignac, Laurie’s uncle, to create the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO education.

“I promised our family that I would do everything I could to ensure such a tragedy would never again destroy another family,” said Gignac. “Making CO alarms mandatory in all homes is a critical first step in my mission.”

In the past 15 years there have been over 250 carbon monoxide deaths in Ontario, excluding suicides. “Carbon monoxide is dangerous because you can’t smell it, taste it, or see it,” said Hardeman. “The gas is impossible to detect without an alarm – it’s the silent killer.”

Carbon monoxide can be produced by any fuel burning appliance, such as stoves and furnaces, or build up in poorly ventilated garages.

“This bill is long overdue, but finally we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Hardeman. “I urge everyone not to wait for the bill to pass but to install and inspect carbon monoxide detectors today.”

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