Open letter to Mayor Bev Buckway and Whitehorse City Council:
Certainly you will see past the administration’s proposed changes to the building and plumbing bylaw.
First, the banning of external chimneys. Some people in Whitehorse still believe in using wood heat, so this idea is ridiculous as it serves no real purpose.
In articles on the functioning of exterior versus interior chimneys, most conclude that science is not much good here. Some say an interior chimney draws about 20 per cent better, but there is no real evidence of such.
It is far more practical to have a chimney that is the proper size for the space heated to prevent smoking and allowing for better fire starts. There are already chimney manufacturers’ clearances and installation requirements, so what is the purpose of this new law?
Regardless of this, all the new condos and commercial developers are using electrical space heating, so it is a moot point … a law for the sake of making a new law.
Second, the city states that the purpose of all these changes will be to lower building maintenance costs, use less energy and enhance indoor air quality. It goes on to give statistics showing new bylaws make this happen.
As Mark Twain once said, “Facts are real, statistics are pliable.” Since when has the city become our god to tell us how we can or cannot build our homes for efficiencies? And what is the city doing about its own buildings and conservation of fuel and electricity?
Third, lets add another pane of glass to our windows, making it four. I would suggest that the pain is not in the glass.
If you research about auditing for energy efficiencies, windows are one of the longest paybacks for costs incurred and after two panes of glass properly made (with a dead air space sealed in) and installed, there is little benefit gained.
There are more beneficial things you can do to your building to get more bang for your buck. Let citizens make their own choices. We are not a dumb as you speculate.
Preferably, you will just go back to giving million-dollar grants to the rich and make this up by charging higher taxes, hurting the small-time working Yukoner, as that is what you do best.