/R E P E A T -- The Hawkins-Gignac Act (Bill 77) Passes, Making CO Alarms Mandatory in all Ontario Homes/

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The following Radio Clips are available at the listed times and co-ordinates:

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DATE(S) OF FEED:   November 28, 2013
TIME OF FEED(S):   10am ET
CO-ORDINATES:   Galaxy 17/C07 Slot D3
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Toronto, November 27, 2013 - It took five years, but at last something good has come from something unimaginably tragic.

Today the Ontario government has unanimously passed the Hawkins-Gignac Act into law, making carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all Ontario homes with fuel-burning appliances or heating systems, fireplaces, or attached garages.

"Now, whether your home is new construction or old, the mandatory requirement for CO protection is the same," says John Gignac, co-chair of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education.

"My family is very thankful that the government has at last protected all Ontarians equally from carbon monoxide by passing this important law named in honour of Laurie's family," Gignac adds. "We will be forever grateful to MPP Ernie Hardeman for his determination in getting his Private Members' Bill voted into law on the fourth try. But there is still much work to be done."

The Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education maintains its priority to continue educating Canadians on the dangers of carbon monoxide; its sources, symptoms and the critical importance of early detection.

Almost exactly five years ago, OPP constable Laurie Hawkins, her husband Richard and their two children Cassie and Jordan were killed by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in their Woodstock, Ontario home.  John Gignac is Laurie's uncle and a veteran firefighter.  After the accident he pledged to warn all Canadians about the silent killer, and following the vote at Queen's Park today, said "not a day goes by that I don't think about this accident and how easily it could have been prevented."

Laurie and her family did not have a CO alarm installed in their home.  The deadly gas seeped back into their home due to a blocked chimney vent attached to their gas fireplace.  "If only they had a working CO alarm installed our heartbreak could have been avoided," he added.

With the recent drop in temperature the threat of CO danger is elevated as we need to heat our homes.  But carbon monoxide is a four-season killer, since so many homes today have gas heating systems, water heaters, stoves or other fuel-burning appliances that run year-long.

John Gignac and the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation urge all Ontario residents not to wait until the law takes effect, but to act now and protect their families by installing at least one CO alarm today.

"Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless.  The ONLY way it can be detected is with a CSA-approved CO alarm," Gignac says.  "Hundreds of people across Canada have been killed by CO in the past decade.  And thousands go to their doctor or the hospital each year thinking they have the flu but are in fact suffering from CO exposure.  So install a CO alarm and get some peace of mind."


Hawkins-Gignac Audio Clips
Questions to John Gignac

     1. "Why is this bill passing so close to your heart?"
IN: 00:00:03:00 - In 2008, there was a tragic accident to my family…
…get the law passed and protect everyone in Ontario.
OUT : 00:00:25:00

     2. "How did you get Ernie Hardeman involved?"
IN: 00:00:28:00 - Well, Ernie Hardeman is the MPP of Oxford county…
…and so now we're working with him to see this through.
OUT : 00:00:47:00

     3. "What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?"
IN: 00:00:50:00 - CO exposure has the same symptoms as flu…
…so you've gotta clue into the fact that it's carbon monoxide exposure.
OUT : 00:01:08:00

     4. "How do you feel now that the bill has passed?"
IN: 00:01:11:00 - Ah, personally, I feel that we are finally starting to win the battle…
…it's a simple thing to do to protect your family..
OUT : 00:01:28:00

     5. "What's next for the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education?"
IN: 00:01:30:00 - We need to educate Canadians on the dangers of carbon monoxide…
…and put a CO alarm in their homes today to protect their families.
OUT : 00:01:46:00

     6. "What else can people do to protect themselves?"
IN: 00:01:49:00 - There's three things that we recommend from the Foundation…
…it's the only way you'll ever know it's in your home.
OUT : 00:02:14:00

Hawkins-Gignac Audio Clips
Questions to Ernie Hardeman

     1. " Why is today such a great day for you?"
IN: 00:02:17:00 - What's significant about today …
…obviously, finally it's here and we're just tickled pink to have it here.
OUT : 00:02:43:00

     2. " Why do we need this law?"
IN: 00:02:45:00 - Presently, the law says that houses built after 2001 …
…to make sure that our fire services can enforce that in every home in the province.
OUT : 00:03:06:00

     3. " Will people need to have an electrician install the CO alarm?"
IN: 00:03:09:00 - …The rules on the installation will be described…
…so they are direct wired, but not hard wired.
OUT : 03:31:00

     4. " When does the CO alarm have to be installed?"
IN: 00:03 :34:00 - I think it's very important as we stand here today…
…get it done now.
OUT : 00:03:48:00


Cara Epp, 647-217-2835
Nichola Petts, 416-200-6782

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Audio with caption: "Hawkins-Gignac_2.mp3". Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2013/11/28/20131128_C5734_AUDIO_EN_33996.mp3

SOURCE: Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education

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