150 Carbon Monoxide Detectors Donated

ST THOMAS – Today, Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek and Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman joined Doug DeRabbie from the Insurance Bureau of Canada at the St. Thomas Fire Department and later at Habitat for Humanity to put additional carbon monoxide detectors in the homes of London and area residents and to raise awareness that they will soon be required in all homes.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) made the donation of 100 carbon monoxide detectors to the St. Thomas Fire Department and 50 to Habitat for Humanity as part of their campaign to raise awareness about the need for carbon monoxide detectors in all homes with a fuel burning appliance or an attached garage. The Insurance Bureau has already donated approximately 1,000 detectors.

Over the last 15 years, 250 Ontarians have died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

On December 12, 2013 Hardeman’s private members’ bill to require carbon monoxide detectors in all homes received Royal Assent, the final step in becoming law. The bill was named the Hawkins Gignac Act in memory of a Woodstock family that was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning due to a blocked vent on their fireplace.

Although it had unanimous support in the Legislature the bill had to be introduced five times and took five years to pass. The government is working on creating regulations to establish standards for detectors which are required before the law can be fully implemented.

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“You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide; the only way to know if this deadly gas is in your home is by having a detector.  I want to thank the Insurance Bureau of Canada for making this donation to help protect the people of St. Thomas and Elgin County.” – Jeff Yurek, MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London

“Despite the serious threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, many Canadians do not have CO detectors in their home.  We thank MPP Ernie Hardeman for his leadership and perseverance to make CO detectors mandatory in all homes in Ontario. Imposing the installation of CO detectors is a wise investment that will help keep families safe at a minimal cost.” – Doug DeRabbie, Director of Government Relations – Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada

“Carbon Monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental deaths in North America, but many of these tragedies can be prevented by installing a CO detector. It is particularly important in the winter months to ensure your family is protected by making sure vents aren’t blocked and that you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector.” – Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford 

“Thank you to Ernie Hardeman and the Insurance Bureau of Canada for making this donation.  The St. Thomas Fire Department will include the CO detectors in our existing home smoke alarm inspection program to help keep families safe from this serious threat.“ – Bill Todd, Chief Fire Prevention Officer, St. Thomas Fire Department

“Habitat For Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.  Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisonings in North America, being called the silent killer. In the past 10 years, 250 Ontarians have died of CO poisoning.  The Hawkins Gignac Act mandating installation of CO monitors in homes will have a major impact on family safety as did fire alarm legislation in 2006.  This practical legislation  supports our vision and beliefs so we wholeheartedly endorse it.“ – Jeff Duncan, CEO Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario


Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. Proceeds from the operation of our four ReStores, are directed to funding the administrative costs of Habitat Heartland Ontario.  This means that donations from the public can go directly to building homes for low income families. Funds from the zero interest mortgage payments made by our partner families go toward buying land for the next family. We are building to end poverty.

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Media Contact: William Ross | 647-383-6945 | William.ross@pc.ola.org