There are already areas in Kimberley, near public buildings for example, where smoking outdoors is prohibited.
But at City Council this week, representatives from the BC Cancer Agency and Interior Health asked Council to go much further, to join the growing list of B.C. communities with much tougher smoke free spaces and smoking bylaws.
Kerri Wall, Community Health Facilitator for Interior Health, reminded Council that a presentation had been made in June of 2014 and they were asked to come back. That, she said, indicated to her that there was some interest on Kimberley City Council in toughening the no smoking laws.
What is being suggested is a ban on smoking on City trails, in parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities, both indoor and out; and bar and restaurant patios. Further, they propose a ban on smoking within 7.5 metres of entrances and windows. The current distance is 3 metres.
And that brings up the Platzl. A 7.5 metre zone on each side of the Platzl would effectively mean no smoking in the Platzl.
That did cause concern among some Councillors, who generally support such a bylaw.
There are employees who take smoke breaks in the Platzl, pointed out Coun. Albert Hoglund. Some businesses might also be concerned, said Coun. Bev Middlebrook.
It will require public consultation said Andrea Winckers, from the BC Cancer Agency, but a bylaw can be customized to work for an individual community.
Coun. Kent Goodwin said that over the winter, with the upcoming update of the Official Community Plan, would be a perfect time to consult the community on the proposed bylaw.
“In principal, I think it’s a direction we can head in,” he said.
Council will discuss the idea further at a Committee of the Whole meeting.