The MP for Kootenay-Columbia is calling for a complete phase-out of ammonia in public rinks across Canada.
Wayne Stetski spoke in the House of Commons following the deaths of three people after an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena October 17th.
He says efforts are needed to prevent what happened in the Elk Valley from occurring anywhere else.
“Since 2007, there have been about 50 ammonia leaks from refrigeration units,” Stetski says. “Not all of them were hockey rinks or curling rinks across Canada, but there have been other injuries and now three deaths resulting from ammonia.”
Stetski says the government should coordinate efforts to replace ammonia refrigeration with carbon dioxide systems.
“When there is a viable alternative, why wouldn’t we move towards that?” Stetski says. “But its costly and so it would take the Federal Government working with provincial governments to assist municipalities in changing over the refrigerant.”
Stetski says CO2 systems offer a safer alternative.
He estimates 65 percent of Canada’s 3,700 ice arenas and curling rinks use ammonia for ice production.
– Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski