Territory still waiting on promised oil furnace rules

In May of 2013, the Yukon government announced to great fanfare that it had become the first jurisdiction in Canada to require carbon monoxide detectors in all residences with an oil furnace or attached garage.

In May of 2013, the Yukon government announced to great fanfare that it had become the first jurisdiction in Canada to require carbon monoxide detectors in all residences with an oil furnace or attached garage. The only problem is, it wasn’t true.

“I am very pleased to see this leading edge legislation passed, which put simply, will save lives,” said then-Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor in the 2013 press release. “It is my hope that other jurisdictions will follow our lead by requiring the use of carbon monoxide detectors.”

While the government had passed legislation to require the detectors in homes, those laws would not come into force until associated regulations had been drafted approved. That step has yet to be completed, nearly two years later.

This week the government announced that it is consulting Yukoners on regulations that, when approved, will require carbon monoxide detectors in residences with an oil furnace or attached garage.

In the meantime at least one province has surpassed us.

Ontario’s carbon monoxide detector law came into force in October 2014.

Multiple requests to interview the minister of Community Services this week were denied or ignored.

“Preparing regulations takes time and requires considerable effort to ensure that proposed regulations are clear and legally robust,” a spokesperson for the department wrote in an email.

“We anticipate having the new law in force later this year. However, there remain several steps required to make it happen. Once we have reviewed the feedback from the consultation, we will review the proposed regulations to see what changes, if any, may be needed and then the regulations will come forward to cabinet for final approval.”

The regulations set out penalties of up to $1,000 for failure to install or maintain a carbon monoxide detector.

They also set up the rules for a registry that will keep track of licensed oil burner mechanics in the territory.

Under the proposed new rules, only Red Seal certified technicians will be permitted to install or modify oil furnaces.

The government’s actions on this issue were spurred by the tragic death of five people from carbon monoxide poisoning in a Porter Creek home in January 2012.

The fire marshal’s report showed that inspectors and servicepeople missed serious building code infractions with the furnace and chimney.

Although new rules have yet to come into effect, the government has made headway in terms of public awareness and carbon monoxide detector use, a cabinet spokesperson said in an email.

Thousands of detectors have been given away across the territory, according to the email.

The government has also worked in partnership with Yukon College to increase the number of certified mechanics in the territory.

Since 2012, 22 students have earned oil-burner mechanic certificates, and 12 have formally registered as apprentices, according to an email.

Students who earn a certificate must complete an apprenticeship and challenge the Red Seal exam before they are fully certified.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before conducting a test with it on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
An inside look at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre

As the active COVID-19 case count grew last week, so too did… Continue reading

Conservation officers search for a black bear in the Riverdale area in Whitehorse on Sept. 17. The Department of Environment intends to purchase 20 semi-automatic AR-10 rifles, despite the inclusion of the weapons in a recently released ban introduced by the federal government, for peace officers, such as conservation officers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Environment Minister defends purchase of AR-10 rifles for conservation officers

The federal list of banned firearms includes an exception for peace officers

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The K-shaped economic recovery and what Yukoners can do about it

It looks like COVID-19 will play the role of Grinch this holiday… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Most Read