Valley’s air quality problem exaggerated

The editorial in your paper on Feb. 24 on the opinion page is exaggerated, poorly researched

In a recent newspaper article the mayor of Courtenay suggests that the results of various studies into air quality in the Courtenay/Comox Valley were in his view bogus. This same sentiment could be expressed when discussing the air quality in the Cowichan Valley.

The editorial in your paper on Feb. 24 on the opinion page is exaggerated, poorly researched and over stated making it almost embarrassing to read.

Firstly, of course you are getting a lot of response from readers on this topic. I notice that you carefully don’t quantify the pros and cons, but it is safe to assume that there are a lot of people upset after years of encouragement by various government bodies to heat their homes with wood. There are hundreds if not thousands of homes with air tight stoves and fireplaces in this Valley which will fall victim to what I believe to be a very few voices.

Secondly, what about the air quality? I was outside yesterday and the visibility was infinite and the air clear but in reading your article one might think that by simply going outside we risk life and limb to just take a breath. This is not the case!

Thirdly, I would challenge your numbers of a 70 per cent increase in hospital admissions due to the poor air quality in our Valley. Not exactly your words but definitely what you were implying.

Fourthly, you say that some people (implying many) want the right to burn everything and anything and to do so anywhere at any time. How does that statement relate to residents simply wanting to sit in front of their fireplaces on Christmas Day with their families or heat their homes with wood burning appliances? The vast majority of residents understand the need to be responsible with respect to burning habits and to suggest otherwise is ignorant and irresponsible. What do you suggest we heat with? Electricity? Have you noticed your Hydro bill lately?

Finally, if the air quality is so bad in this Valley, how then can you excuse larger parcels of land from the proposed bylaws, because after all, pollution is pollution regardless of the size of property it originates from. Could the reason be that you would then have an awful lot more people upset over this ill thought out proposal?

I must finish here as it is snowing hard and I need to light my wood stove to warm my house.



Sean P. Napier

North Cowichan



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