Montreal suburb passes summer-long ban on leaf blowers after heated debate


BEACONSFIELD, Que. — Tensions erupted in a Montreal suburb after councillors voted to pass a contentious summer-long ban on leaf blowers.

The mayor of Beaconsfield says he could barely get a word out at Monday’s meeting between the heckling, yelling and other disruptions from the crowd of more than 100 people.

Georges Bourelle says protesters gathered outside city hall before the 5-1 vote in favour of banning leaf blowers between June 1 and Sept. 30 starting next year.

Bourelle says police were called as a precaution after one councillor was allegedly threatened by a person who opposed the regulations.

He says leaf blowers raise health concerns due to noise and air pollution, as well as the dispersion of fine particles he says can contribute respiratory and cardiovascular illness.

Opponents of the leaf-blower restrictions refute the mayor’s claims about the risks posed by leaf blowers, saying a seasonal ban on the landscaping tool could hurt local businesses.

According to a city-commissioned poll released Tuesday, only 28 per cent of 600 residents surveyed were in favour of a ban on all types leaf blowers during the summer months, while there was majority support for restrictions on gas-powered machines.

The results of the phone survey, conducted by Leger between April 17 and 22, were considered accurate within a margin of plus or minus four percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Canadian Press