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Outdoor smoking ban fails to ignite

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE

Where there is smoke, there’s a bylaw - usually.

That said, Puslinch councillors are not yet ready to take the plunge into extending smoking bans to outdoor recreational areas.

On Aug. 15, councillors briefly reviewed an update from Dora Eaglesham of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

Councillor Susan Fielding, who brought the item up at the council session, noted Eaglesham remained curious as to when council might deal with the matter.

In her email, Eaglesham noted more and more municipalities are making bylaws to cover outdoor recreational areas and outside of municipal buildings.

Included was an article related to the community of Trent Hills which had recently initiated such a ban.

Fielding noted that Eaglesham made a presentation in Puslinch shortly after the new council took office.

“At that time council wasn’t really prepared to pass a bylaw until other issues were sorted out.”

Fielding said she realized there are still some issues yet to deal with.

“I think she is just reminding us this is something we need to deal with at some point.”

Whether or not council intended to deal with the issue “I think this is something we need to keep on the radar.”

“It’s very much the thing to do at the moment, and there is an expectation that there is going to be some sort of smoking bylaw.”

Mayor Dennis Lever agreed the matter did come to council over a year ago.

“At that time we asked staff to research what other municipalities had done, and what had worked for them.”

He said the concern raised during the initial discussion was how such a bylaw could be enforced.

Lever stressed while council was generally supportive “there was concern about passing a bylaw, which we would have some difficulty enforcing.”

He said council needed to see the information as to how this was dealt with by other municipalities.

Council asked that staff come back in September with information for council to review.

Fielding agreed.

Lever anticipated the issue would be back to council at the first meeting in October.

Vol 45 Issue 35

August 31, 2012

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