The Federal government is searching for vendors to create a national database of private lawn equipment.
The request for a proposal for a “Canadian Inventory Surveys of Lawn, Garden and Other Small Mobile Outdoor Power” was posted on October 16, 2020, to the BuyandSell.GC.ca Public Works website.
The selected vendor must “conduct surveys throughout Canada to collect information on the inventory and usage of lawn, garden, and other small mobile outdoor power equipment” on behalf of Environment Canada. The RFP closes November 30, 2020.
As Canada’s firearms community is well aware, a government inventory often precedes a government ban and there is a recent North America-wide trend to ban gas-powered lawn equipment under the auspices of both environmental and noise concerns.
An American-based tracker maintained by HD Supply lists at least 19 California cities that have banned gas-powered leaf blowers.
Washinton DC is phasing out gas-powered leaf blowers by 2025, which, according to the Atlantic, was due to “the obsolescence of the technology, which is orders of magnitude more polluting than other machines and engines now in common use; the public-health danger, above all to hired work crews, of both the emissions and the damagingly loud noise from the gas blowers.”
Westmount, QC, only permits the use of leaf blowers during two limited periods per year – April 15 to May 15 and October 1st to December 1st. During these periods, leaf blowers may be used between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
The city of Victoria, BC, under the tutelage of former Trudeau Foundation scholar mayor Lisa Helps, is phasing out all of the gas-powered small engine equipment used by the municipality by 2025.
The city of Toronto is also debating a full ban on two-stroke lawn equipment within the city limits. According to a report in the Toronto Sun:
“The recommendation — proposed by Councillor Shelley Carroll and seconded by Councillor James Pasternak — cites a worldwide decline in insect populations as a reason for asking the city and Toronto Public Health to explore the benefits of banning lawn maintenance equipment powered by two-stroke gasoline engines.”
Councillor Shelley Carroll told council that, because two-stroke engines are “dirty,” banning them in the city was indeed related to COVID-19.”
The bans are a contentious topic. A Vancouver man who called for a ban on leaf blowers in his former hometown of Saskatoon says he was deluged with death threats after posting his petition against the gas-powered lawn equipment on a local Saskatoon buy and sell Facebook page.
Aatash Amir, 29 told the CBC, “One-hundred per cent of the comments were insulting, racist, threatening. I had messages sent to me telling me to kill myself, or to inhale the exhaust fumes, or you know, threats of violence. It was pretty crazy.”