As 2016 comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on achievements over the past year in the Canadian radon industry. All across the country, CARST members and associate organizations worked hard to make 2016’s Radon Action Month the best yet, but our efforts weren’t limited to November alone! In the following paragraphs, we review some of the progress made over the past twelve months, but of course we’re already looking ahead to 2017. If CARST had one wish for 2017, it would be that CARST members continue to see ever increasing benefits from all the groundwork we’ve been laying over the past few years. As evidenced by the remarkable number of radon news items that went to press this past November, radon awareness is growing like never before. We’ll have to wait and see how this increased awareness translates into increased business opportunities and lung cancer prevention in 2017 and the years to come, but for the moment we can reflect on the past year and appreciate the progress we’ve made.
Check out the tremendous list of articles from November 2016 on our website at:
In Ontario CARST has focused on working with the Ontario Lung Association (OLA) and Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) in lobbying for radon in Residential Tenancy legislation and the Ontario Building Code, and assisting municipalities in recognizing their part in the radon issue. CARST funded booths at various trade shows and conferences throughout the province, funded OLA initiatives for public service announcements and provided insight and expertise into the development of their initiatives.
In Alberta, CARST has worked to raise awareness by initiating a provincial radon group to identify and discuss issues. Over the year, CARST has supported public awareness forums which targeted homeowners, physicians, and building officials, as well as working to encourage further school testing. C-NRPP certification is now required in Alberta school constructions, and the Alberta government is recommending C-NRPP professionals when conducting testing. And of course we look forward to the furthering momentum in the province with hosting our 2017 Radon Conference in Banff.
In BC, CARST has worked with RadonAware and the BC Lung Association and participated in lobbying for the building code changes, and worked to increase awareness amongst homeowners, builders and school officials. CARST has worked with the BC RadonAware and Home Builders’ Association in efforts to raise awareness on radon, measurement and building codes.
In Saskatchewan, CARST has been a voice in the Saskatchewan Take Action on Radon Group and the Saskatchewan Lung Association. This group has a lot of momentum, and it has been a pleasure to work with an enthusiastic group.
In Manitoba, CARST has worked with the Manitoba Radon Stakeholder Group to identify issues and increase awareness efforts, and we have been able to provide increased awareness to government officials and homeowners. C-NRPP has sponsored an award with the Manitoba Lung Association for a radon video contest, and is working with Manitoba Cancer Society to provide test kits to MLAs (provincial representatives) and to raise awareness in municipalities and has provided support to the Univerisity of Manitoba and First Nations as they are working to engage their residents in testing their homes.
In Quebec, CARST/C-NRPP increased our profile with a booth at the CAPHI conference in Montreal, and by hosting the CARST 2016 conference in Montreal as well. Quebec has been an example to other provinces with their provincial strategy on radon, mandatory radon testing in schools and is now in the process of mitigating their schools.
In the Maritime provinces, CARST has continued to work with the New Brunswick Lung Association to promote Radon Action Month. We worked with CAREX to host a radon workshop in Halifax. This November, free radon test kits were distributed in at least 10 Nova Scotia communities, and radon awareness across the region continues to grow.
In the North, Whitehorse distributed free test kits to citizens while Yukon health officials urged residents to test for radon. Radon Action Month was a success, with many news articles appearing and increased awareness.
There are many groups that cross provincial borders as we work nationally with CAREX, Simon Fraser University, Health Canada, CELA and we are thankful for the amazing co-operative efforts with all these various groups across the country to be able to provide radon information. CARST also attended the Federal Municipalities conference, where we spoke to some Quebec (as well as Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario) municipalities about being more engaged in radon for their residents.
Day by day, week after week, it is the hard work and dedication of every one of you that has helped efforts of radon awareness and reaching the goals CARST set out when we started up 5 years ago. With every news article, every lobbying effort, every community radon event, and each and every person we talk to, radon awareness in this country continues to grow. As we take time to relax and connect over the holidays, we should take pride in the knowledge of what we’ve achieved. And, as we turn our thoughts toward the new year, we should set our goals even higher, so that we may rise to reach them. Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season, and all the best for 2017!