British Columbia

Delay ban on old-style light bulbs, B.C. Conservative says

B.C. should put off its restrictions on the sale of incandescent light bulbs, just as the federal government has, says the provincial Conservative party leader.
The curly CFL bulb contains trace amounts of mercury, making it unsafe to dispose of in household garbage. (Associated Press)

B.C. should defer the restrictions it’s placed on the sale of incandescent light bulbs, says the leader of the provincial Conservative Party.

John Cummins says the B.C. Liberal government has, "jumped the gun and ignored legitimate concerns," about the more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamp bulb, or CFL.

In a release Wednesday, Cummins said the concerns include, "poor quality lighting making reading difficult for seniors and the tendency of CFL bulbs to trigger migraines."

He said a BC Conservative government would defer the ban on incandescent light bulbs and participate in the federal study of the impact of mercury based CFLs. The next B.C. election is scheduled for May 2013.

As of Jan. 1, 2010, the B.C. government prohibited retailers in the province from restocking 75-watt and 100-watt incandescent bulbs once their current supplies had been sold.

The federal government last summer extended its deadline on the sale of 75-watt and 100-watt incandescent bulbs to Jan. 1, 2014. The ban on 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs was extended to Dec. 31, 2014.

Environment Canada acknowledged that the delay would cost Canadians about $300 million in lost energy efficiencies.

Cummins says CFL bulbs are unpopular with B.C. seniors. (CBC)
Cummins said CFL bulbs are more expensive to purchase, the operational savings have been exaggerated and the safe disposal of them is a concern to health authorities.

CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, a toxic heavy metal, and are not to be disposed of in household garbage. Some hardware store chains offer customers free disposal of the curly bulbs.

"This Liberal initiative is neither green nor common sense," said Cummins.