LETTER TO THE EDITOR WEST ISLAND BLOG

by Stella Haley

As an advocate for safe wood smoke-free air for children and for every person, I wish to bring public attention to a very serious problem we seem to not have on our radar: wood smoke pollution.

In this most difficult of times we face and with warnings, the second surge is going to be much worse we must take urgent action to not let any behaviours that will take away our protection.

We must first see a problem before we can change it.

West Island Cities are doing our children and us all very serious harm by not doing what other cities have done. They are denying us safe air. Our air quality must be cleaned up and this Mayor must do that if he is a man who watches out for our children. Adding to the pandemic Harvard Research proves Wood smoke is endangering the lives of our seniors putting them at much higher threat to die from COVID. We just can’t be silent anymore.

We can’t be willing to let our children breathe smoke. We can’t just pretend it’s ok to let our parents and grandparents be in houses were confined and alone they are defenceless against what is a home invasion of poison smoke. No ! This is not right! We must not let this happen!

What appears to be happening in West Island is the tax battles and Quebec vs Montreal Pointe-Claire benefits from sheepishly being the Lao fog of Quebec false wood burning 2009 regulation. Our dear seniors and our public safety is compromised and they have placed our vulnerable children in the political crossfire.

There is deep immorality when we do nothing and we know we are harming kids.
What we must have in our city policy is children first!

To prioritize a false zero stove agenda, Quebec proven a lie and a wrongful political industry agenda, ahead of the safety of our children and our seniors and ahead of every breath we take every day is far below what any city should do!
We are in fear and anxiety and we need to know our Mayors are doing all they can unify against this common enemy COVID. WOOD SMOKE is also a friend of COVID and a deep dangerous common enemy.

We can’t let this danger two. COVID and PM 2.5 a proven human carcinogenic
air spread disease through our community. We must stand strong together! We live in the epicentre of this Coronavirus and we all are desperately in need of all Montreal Mayors adopting a regulation that helps us and help our front line workers not be overburdened as the second wave hits.

Our Lakeshore Hospital does not need little kids with asthma Wood smoke attacks or seniors in emery with COVID and U and heart failure. This smoke increases hospital emergency admissions every year! There must be a better policy in Pointe-Claire and in all West Island Cities! Enough of the dirty smoke!

These cities have a duty to protect us from avoidable danger.
They must be held accountable and show they are taking our safety and well being as the number one priority now more than ever before!

We are depending on them to do what is critically important now. We can’t wait till smoke ambulances scream through the community taking seniors or children to ER. It is to be avoided at all costs!

Harvard Research attached warns us if our seniors are breathing PM2.5 will take seniors into UN Eve deaths from COVID.
Why is this not being taken seriously?
We need laws like other cities to protect our children and our seniors from wood smokers PM2.5z

Let’s be clear there has been full evidence-based disclosure by EPA and Montreal that proved the false claims of emissions reduced in EPA /CSA wood-burning stoves. This deception I helped to bring to the EPA and this changed regulation. Today we still have Pointe knowing and willfully hiding this truth and still allowing the pollution to take our children’s breath away.

What justifies our kids left to breathe such a dangerous smoke when other cites did what they had to do and save the kids from these worse than tobacco smokers?
We must demand this regulation be adopted if we care about our children!
And like I asked Mayor Belvedere. ‘Children are breathing smoke 22000 breaths a day in Pointe-Claire.

Wood smoke pollution is 100 times worse for people nearby than a 100 metres away.
We know Pointe-Claire children are in danger. Their lives are steadily in peril and some are playing sleeping hot spots where each night the smokers pump out the equivalent of a million cars. One million cars from four or five stoves in just one night!

My question to Mayor Belvedere was ‘ARE YOU OK WITH CHILDREN WITH SMOKE IN THEIR LUNGS?

He did not answer.
The council of a Pointe-Claire shows they put Quebec Industry ahead of our children’s safety!

As a person affiliated with Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution.oh and setting up a Canadian link this urge to action is not one to take lightly.

I am so appreciative is supported by Dr. Brian Moench for his steady clarity and his work on helping us show the false claims of emissions reduced in EPA CSA home use of stoves. This is a massive wrongful dangerous message of false security and suggests we need a class action lawsuit.

Most communities passed regulation protecting people from second-hand cigarette smoke. and wood smoke.

But we are now in a pandemic, for seniors especially they like our kids and West Island, families. The one place where seniors have to be 99% of the time.
We must not permit any lawless conduct even if it is in Pointe-Claire’s neglectful reckless policy.

Seniors and all citizens must know they we be safe during this pandemic. We must stand up and make this city do what will
Save their lives,

Seniors must not have their homes made a place of breathless gasping to breathe as many have had to do for years suffering woodburning smoke invasion day after day, night after night.

It is important to note as DASAWS Dr. Moench points out,

‘The inhalable particulate pollution from one woodstove is equivalent to the amount emitted from 3,000 gas furnaces producing the same amount of heat.

The most dangerous components of air pollution are much higher inside homes that burn wood compared to those that don’t, as much as 500% higher.’

2. Emissions from modern combustion appliances for wood logs may increase ten-fold if they are not operated appropriately, and most of them are not.
13. Wood smoke is the only pollution emitted right where people spend most of their time. It disperses poorly, is not evenly distributed and stays in the air longer because of its small size. Concentrations can be 100 times higher for neighbours of wood burners than what is captured at the nearest monitoring station. Real local “pollution victims” are created even when overall community levels are low.

If your neighbour is a regular wood burner and follows all the rules, i.e. doesn’t burn during yellow or red alert days, but does during all “green” days, you can go an entire winter without having one single day of clean air.

This is a civil rights issue. This is a public health crisis.
This is a violation of art 976 Tort law that prohibits conduct that one citizen,imposed on another which is “too large of a burden”.

We really need better leadership.
Why are some Pointe-Claire City council members so hostile when anyone asks for help to just live in their own homes peacefully and safe?

Why are we leaving kids in such danger at busy stops where on Lakeview the smoke is thick and a constant threatening attack on their vulnerability?

Why are seniors in danger of COVID deaths from infectious Wood Smoke?
their ur seniors are holding their breath waiting for Mayor John Belvedere to help them. I know I am one of them. I have a petition done door to door and since the pandemic, it is posted on Twitter Wood Smoke-Free.
We must unite against dangerous air contamination during this Corona Virus.
Harvard Research on COVID proves that if they have no protection from dangerous wood smoke, ‘many will die needlessly.

People should have just as much protection from wood smoke as from cigarette smoke and for all the same reasons. We don’t allow people to blow cigarette smoke in your face, why should we allow people to blow wood smoke into your home?

Thank you to Dr. Brian Moench
To the Lakeshore General Physician , friend and defender of children. cardiologist who went door to door in Beaconsfield asking people to not burn wood to protect his grandchildren.
Thank you to all those who signed the petition and to Karen Messier Beaconsfield Councelor.
Thank you to the seniors who gave me light in dark times when I wanted to give up.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Very smart blog. West Island must follow lead like Montreal did a few years ago.
    People , you won’t need to lose your fire place but adapt it to have a filter to protect against these particles. Good for your children , for you future and the environment.

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