Thankfully a disaster was averted in Winnipeg the other day when brand new (only installed a week ago) Carbon Monoxide detectors went off early in the day at the Peek-A-Boo Infant Child Centre. See this news item by Carol Sanders and Adam Wazny regarding how a total of 54 children and 19 staff were saved from serious harm or even death. How? Because no one present would have known something was wrong until it was too late because the gas has no smell. The good news is that as of April 1st, 2011, the Province of Manitoba will require CO detectors, not only in home-based child care facilities, but everywhere there is a child care centre.
Now, just out of curiosity, I did a Google search to see if there were any requirements in Ontario for such detectors. Remember, Ontario now has an Early Learning Program (ELP), full-day kindergarten by another name, in hundreds of Ontario schools. As a result, wouldn’t it make sense to make sure both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in the hallways of all schools, if not at least in the areas where there is pre-school and kindergarten aged children.
Well, I couldn’t find any such legislation for Ontario. It doesn’t mean it is not there but it was not readily available. So, let this latest near catastrophe be a wakeup call for the rest of Canada. Something that the Ontario PCs can consider. Will it cost money? Yes, but surely savings can be realized elsewhere in order to protect our most vulnerable.