Smoking could soon be prohibited on city owned and leased parks and trails. An updated Clean Air Bylaw was discussed at length during a committee of the whole meeting held on Oct. 12.
“Tobacco remains the single most preventable cause of disease and death. Electronic smoking devices contains nicotine, ultrafine particles and low levels of toxins. In outdoor settings, particles from tobacco smoke are still present up to seven meters away from their source,” Teresa LeRose, Manager of Legislative Services wrote in a report. A full copy of the report can be viewed here.
Parks and trails locations where the use of tobacco and electronic smoking devices will be prohibited include:
—The Greenway Trail
—Columbia View Park
—A portion of Centennial Park (the private road and parking lot are exempt)
—A portion of Williamson’s Lake Park (the campground area is exempt)
—Queen Elizabeth Park
—Big Eddy Park
—Golf Course (road and parking lot exempted)
—Illecillewaet Equestrian Grounds (private road and parking lot exempted)
—Columbia Park tennis courts
The committee of the whole is also recommending the updated bylaw include an increase from three meters to six metres outside of city owned buildings. Council heard that this update to six metres was to bring the bylaw in compliance with provincial law, which now requires a six-metre buffer. This would include city hall, the Revelstoke Community Centre, and the Revelstoke Arena and Forum.
“I sit on the health committee and really the health committee would like for nobody to smoke in Revelstoke,” said councillor Linda Nixon.
The recommendation from the health committee was to increase the no-smoking area from three meters to eight meters outside of city-owned buildings. Some committee of the whole members felt this was going too far and would add confusion to the matter as it would differ from provincial regulations.
“I think we better be careful because if we go too far then are we going to be enforcing all this stuff and getting all these complaints. I think we better be careful here,” said Mayor Mark McKee. “I’m concerned we are making something different that other people are making it.”
Mike Thomas, director of engineering and public works said the provincial Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act has been updated to include a six metre zone around all door ways, open windows and air intakes to any public buildings or work places in B.C.
Nixon said the recommendation to increase the no-smoking buffer to eight metres outside of city-owned buildings came about as Revelstoke has always been seen as a leader when it comes to promoting clean air. Other communities in B.C. are also recommending an increase to eight meters.
“Last time the feedback was it didn’t go far enough and this bylaw is going farther,” said Nixon.
Councillor Connie Brothers said she felt it was important to be clear about what the law is.
“I think we need to be very, very clear about what the law is so that we as a city can understand what the law is and what we’re expecting from the population,” said Brothers.
Revelstoke city council will discuss the recommendation for an updated Clean Air Bylaw at an upcoming meeting; it will require council approval before the changes are official.