WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government has received an Action Plan and Recommendations from the Oil-Fired Appliances Working Group and is releasing the report to Yukoners for their input.
The working group was set up in March at the direction of the Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation Scott Kent and Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor. The group was tasked with developing an action plan to enhance safety with respect to oil-fired heating systems throughout the territory. It included representatives from industry, the City of Whitehorse, the Association of Yukon Communities and the departments of Community Services and Education. As part of the process, the group conducted research and considered input from Yukoners.
“We want to thank the members of the working group for the energy, expertise and work they dedicated to this important endeavor,” Kent said. “Our plan is to accept the report and implement its recommendations, pending the outcome of a community engagement process that will begin immediately.”
“We are very pleased to receive the report and provide it in a timely manner to Yukoners for review,” Taylor added. “Minister Kent and I, together with rural MLAs Stacey Hassard and Patti McLeod, will be visiting Yukon communities in the coming weeks to share the report and hear first-hand the perspectives of First Nations, municipalities, businesses and individuals before proceeding with next steps.”
“The report provides balanced measures to address the challenges Yukon residents face today when dealing with oil-fired appliances,” working group chair Marc Perreault said. Perreault is acting vice-president of operations at Yukon Housing Corporation and a certified oil burner mechanic. “This plan is neither the beginning nor the end, but rather a focused means of moving forward with resolve.”
In the nine-page report, the working group sets out three action items for the Yukon government:
- develop and implement a public awareness campaign,
- develop new and enhance existing opportunities for training, and
- create an Act specific to oil-fired appliances.
The ministers and MLAs will hold open houses in communities and meet with First Nations and municipal leaders. Comments may also be emailed to OFAcomments@gov.yk.ca. The process will start next week and is anticipated to be complete by the end of September.