British Columbia Sun

B.C. municipality votes to phase out gas-powered gardening tools


Key takeaways: 

  • Oak Bay citizens have three years to replace leaf blowers and other tools.
  • Coun set forward the motion. Tara Ney.

In Oak Bay, British Columbia, citizens will soon have to turn off their gas-powered leaf blowers.

Councilors in the southern Vancouver Island community voted Tuesday to phase out the civil usage of all gas-powered gardening equipment over the next three years. The motion is ready to take the result in 2023, meaning citizens have till the end of 2025 to substitute old equipment with newer technology, such as electric options.

Coun set forward the motion. Tara Ney says concerns regarding carbon emissions and noise. Ney stated the three-year window provides time for costs of electric tools to fall in price.

“The technology will increase, and prices will come down,” said Ney, speaking to the council Wednesday.

Mayor Kevin Murdoch says bringing the word out now gives Oak Bay citizens time to prepare.

“Once people know about it, when they go to the shop, and their lawnmower is acting up, or they require a new weed whacker, they’ll be like ‘well, gee, I actually should be looking for an electric choice at this point,'” stated Murdoch. “It’ll be an organic change over the next three years.”

Also read: Vancouver’s Plan A Real Estate fined $10,000 for using ‘travel’ leases 

In Oak Bay, British Columbia, citizens will soon have to turn off their gas-powered leaf blowers

In 2021, the council voted to phase out 2025 municipal workers’ carbon-producing gardening tools.

This week’s judgment also comes from a 2021 petition established by Oak Bay local Francis Landy calling for a prohibition on citizens’ use of gas-powered leaf blowers.

 As of Wednesday morning, that petition had 670 signatures.

Noise and pollution crises

According to district bylaws, Oak Bay citizens can now use a gas-powered leaf blower between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays and between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays.

“Noise is a severely underrated health issue,” said Landy, speaking Wednesday on B.C. Today. 

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