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Media 2009

Media 2009

posted on March 13, 2009

Montreal's wood stove ban: a lot of hot air

Published: March 11, 2009
Source: The Globe and Mail

"Montreal proposes to ban the installation of most kinds of wood stoves and wood fireplaces in new houses – but to let people keep using the 50,000 wood stoves and wood fireplaces already in use. This is as rational as banning the purchase of new cars but letting people continue driving gas guzzlers.

In either case, you deny the environmental advances inherent in technological innovation and preserve the more primitive and wasteful technology of the past. In contrast, Revelstoke, B.C., offers $500 rebates to people who dump old stoves for new, efficient stoves. Both cities can't be right.

Montreal justifies its reactionary stance, in part, with scary rhetoric based on scary federal statistics.

Environment Canada asserts, for example, that a conventional wood stove, burning for nine hours, emits as much particulate matter – known historically as soot – as a car driven 18,000 kilometres. It asserts that an advanced-technology wood stove, burning for 60 hours, emits the same accumulation of particulate matter. Yet it recommends wood heat as “safe, economical and efficient.”"

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