Government of Yukon


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FOR RELEASE
October 25, 2012

Yukon government takes steps to enhance safety of oil-fired appliances

WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government is moving forward with a number of changes that will enhance safety of oil-fired appliances, Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor and the Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation and the Department of Education Scott Kent announced today.

Earlier this fall the Yukon government received a report from the Oil-fired Appliances Working Group that recommended implementation of a public awareness campaign, training for industry and legislation. Recommendations of the report were then presented to communities, municipal and First Nation governments, industry and other interested groups during a community tour in September and early October.

“Based on the report of the Oil-fired Appliance Working Group and input received from Yukon citizens across the territory, the Yukon government will be moving forward with a number of regulatory and/or legislative changes, public awareness and training initiatives for industry,” Taylor said.

“We are committed to taking action to enhance public safety. Working to increase the number of certified oil-burner mechanics will build much needed capacity in rural communities,” Kent said. “In partnership with Yukon College, we will come forward with innovative ways to offer re-training and professional development for journeyperson oil-burner mechanics, while also meeting the training needs of individuals who provide maintenance services in rural Yukon.”

“We are pleased that the Yukon government has considered input from rural Yukoners and is taking the needs of our communities into account,” Association of Yukon Communities President Elaine Wyatt said. “These are important steps that we think will improve public safety, increase awareness that will encourage individual responsibility, and increase local capacity through training opportunities that will benefit our communities.”

The departments of Community Services and Education, the Yukon Housing Corporation and Yukon College will be working to implement changes in the months to come.

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See backgrounder below for more information.

Contact:

Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
867-633-7961
elaine.schiman@gov.yk.ca  
Matt King
Communications, Community Services
867-456-6580
matt.king@gov.yk.ca 
Chris Madden
Communications, Education
867-393-7102
chris.madden@gov.yk.ca  
Doug Caldwell
Communications, Yukon Housing Corporation
867-667-5075
doug.caldwell@gov.yk.ca

 

Backgrounder

The following actions will be initiated in order to enhance public safety around oil-fired appliances in Yukon:

  • The Yukon Housing Corporation (YHC) will work with other departments to lead the development and implementation of a public awareness campaign that targets Yukon residents in all communities to:
    • promote the importance of maintenance and proper installation of home heating systems;
    • emphasize individual homeowner and landlord and tenant responsibilities;
    • increase awareness about the importance of early warning devices like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors;
    • work with communities and industry to develop a checklist which identifies relevant points of proper installation, modification and servicing of oil-fired appliances; and
    • enhance opportunities for community residents to access contractors visiting communities for YHC work.
  • The Department of Education will work with other departments and Yukon College to lead the development and implementation of training to:
    • assist eligible individuals to become certified oil-burner mechanic journeypersons;
    • enhance training opportunities for Yukon apprentices to participate in in-school technical training in Yukon; and
    • review and enhance training opportunities available for building inspectors.
  • The Department of Community Services will work with the other departments to lead the development of legislative and/or regulatory changes that will improve home and life safety. Specifically, changes will be developed to do the following: 
    • require that building permits for modifications and installations to oil-fired appliances be issued to certified journeyperson oil-burner mechanics; and
    • require the installation of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in all Yukon residences, including rental units.

News release #12-199