Snow removal, backyard burning, and wood stoves
Dear mayor and council:
Re. Snow removal and burning bylaw
Please pass on my thanks to the municipal employees for the great job they did with snow removal during the latest winter storms. People were working 24/7 to keep the roads clear.
Re: wood stoves and backyard burning
There has been much speculation about the introduction of a burning bylaw that limits the use of wood burning stoves and backyard burning.
Woodstoves are evolving (BC Air Quality Control) just like vehicles. The emissions are a byproduct of producing heat for our homes and that’s just the way it is. Assuming the use of cured and dried wood, and after the first 20 minutes of lighting the fire in the stove, you can hardly tell if it is even burning because the emissions are so low. The knee jerk reaction about stopping the use of wood stoves is ridiculous. Are we going to pull vehicles off the road because they are pushing blue? Of course not!
Re: backyard burning
Efficient backyard burning requires management and planning.
Instead of prohibiting all burning, we should tweak the current burning bylaw that is intended to limit emissions. We should require permits that are specific as to what can be burned.
We should routinely enforce the bylaws as opposed to pitting neighbour against neighbour through the complaint process. That’s just mean spirited. Stronger enforcement may require more staff. We currently support the Climate Action and Energy Plan with a 0.5 per cent tax. As air quality is a priority, that income could be used to increase the funding available for enforcement.
I would be happy to go to the office to get a permit to burn during the weather window which reduces the number of particulates hence the effect on people with breathing difficulties.
It has been suggested that passing the bylaw takes guts on the part of council. I think it takes leadership to monitor and enforce what we have.