Here’s why the approach is flawed


Clean burning wood stoves are part of the solution

Certified, advanced technology (or high efficiency) wood stoves are not only up to 30 times cleaner burning, but also use approximately 30% less wood than non-certified units. That means less wood being burned to heat the same amount of space. The proper use of a certified wood stove will contribute to air quality improvements compared to the use of older, uncertified stoves and help achieve climate change objectives. These renewable fuel burning heaters are part of the solution.


Public consultation hasn’t been adequate

Sustainable solutions start with meaningful engagement and analysis. Effective public policy requires considering all the impacts before making recommendations, specifically to ensure that residents’ views are represented. The policy of banning wood stoves is not built on adequate consultation of Comox Valley Residents or prevailing public opinion.

In fact, research from Fall 2021 conducted by independent public opinion firm Insights West found:

  • There is strong agreement (82%) amongst Comox Valley residents that they should be able to install new cleaner/more efficient wood burning stoves.
  • 75% of residents agree that wood-burning stoves are an affordable heating option and an important way for people to heat their homes.
  • 92% of residents in the Comox Valley either strongly or somewhat agree that people should have the right to choose how they heat their homes

These findings are verified by residents’ views of the current prohibitions on wood stoves that were adopted in 2019:

  • Only 16% of Comox Valley residents believe there was sufficient public consultation prior to implementing them.
  • 62% of Comox Valley residents surveyed agreed that the new by-laws make it more challenging to find affordable heating solutions.
  • 71% of Comox Valley residents surveyed agreed that the new by-laws will negatively impact local businesses that manufacture, sell, and service clean burning wood stoves.

Why are CVRD staff already recommending the implementation of recommendations that have not considered the broader implications of prohibiting wood stoves? Why is this happening before public consultations have begun?


It leaves Comox residents without energy security

Did you know that since December 6th there have been over 328 reported power outages in the Comox Valley? One outage lasted as long as 28 hours. All-electric homes depend on one source of energy. On Vancouver Island, energy diversity is key to our safety in emergencies. Certified wood stoves provide energy security and affordable heat in the Comox Valley. Banning secondary heating sources like wood stoves leaves residents without options during power outages and catastrophes.


It ignores the economic, social, and cultural contributions that wood burning makes to residents of the Comox Valley. Why should these contributions be thrown away when they don’t have to be?


It ignores the expertise of local industry experts.

Industry has the expertise, experience, and is committed to efficient and well-designed regulation. We need their insight to create an effective Airshed Protection Strategy.

How can we all do better?

The CVRD and local Councils can:
  1. Listen to residents on solutions that are viable for this community.
  2. Listen to local industry experts
Local industry can:

  1. Help provide better access to local, dry wood with initiatives like the Wood lot program, which was previously dismissed by the CVRD.
  2. Help provide guidance on by-law development and switch-out programs based on successes from other jurisdictions.

Local residents can:

  1. Follow Burn Smart practices:

    1.Buy locally sourced wood.

    2.Burn only dry seasoned wood.

    3.Store wood properly.

  2. Perform regular wood stove maintenance.
  3. Upgrade to an EPA-certified wood stoves.

There is still time to save your wood stove.
Your voice is needed.

Contact the following people and voice your support.

Courtenay City Council

Bob Wells
[email protected]

Doug Hillian
[email protected]

David Frisch
[email protected]

Wendy Morin
[email protected]

Will Cole-Hamilton
[email protected]

Manno Theos
[email protected]

Melanie McCollum
[email protected]

If you’d like to help or be part of the campaign, please contact

[email protected]