Strathcona County exploring smoking bylaw

April 20, 2018

Strathcona County exploring smoking bylaw

As part of its commitment to public health and safety, Strathcona County is exploring the prohibition of smoking and vaping (of any substance) in public places, as defined in the draft Smoking Bylaw 18-2018.

“Our municipality prides itself on our open outdoor spaces where people can enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Council is working to ensure that people, especially children, are not unnecessarily exposed to health impacts or nuisance from smoke or vapours – whether it is tobacco, or any other substance, while in public places,” says Mayor Rod Frank.  “At the same time, we are mindful of the need to be business friendly, and to have a balanced perspective for all citizens.”

The draft bylaw provides for extensive smoking and vaping prohibition within Strathcona County. Under the draft bylaw, smoking or vaping (of any substance) is prohibited in public places (set out in provincial legislation), and extends to additional public places within Strathcona County such as: outdoor events and markets operating under County approvals, school grounds, playgrounds, skateboard/bike parks, skating rinks/sports fields, outdoor recreation facilities, swimming pools/spray parks, theatres and patios.

The draft bylaw’s noted exceptions include areas such as off-leash dog parks, golf courses, public sidewalks, and hotel guest rooms that are already designated as smoking rooms under the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, and that comply with the Alberta Building Code clean air and ventilation regulations.

In addition, the draft bylaw requires a 10 metre non-smoking setback from areas where children are more likely to congregate, such as playgrounds, spray parks, skate and bicycle parks, pools, skating rinks, sports fields. The 10 metre setback would also apply to doorways, windows and fresh air intake areas. In comparison, the provincial Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Regulation currently only requires a five metre setback.

The draft bylaw will be presented for Council’s consideration on May 8, 2018, following a scheduled public hearing about the draft bylaw. Those interested in speaking at a Public Hearing, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on May 8, 2018, are invited to register by emailing LegislativeOfficer@Strathcona.ca or calling 780-464-8014 by 4 p.m. on May 7, 2018 (please provide your full name, the bylaw number, and indicate if you are in favour or opposed). Please note that public hearings, including presentations made by speakers, are recorded. The meetings are made available for viewing on the County’s public website and the names of presenters along with a brief description of their position is included in the minutes. All written submissions for public hearings are made available for public viewing.

While tobacco is regulated by the province under the Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act (and related regulations), that legislation permits municipalities to pass bylaws containing more restrictive provisions than the provincial regime. The Municipal Government Act allows municipalities to pass bylaws providing for the safety, health and welfare of people and activities around public places and related nuisances.  The draft bylaw may be amended to align with, and fill any gaps within any provincial enactments, when prepared and passed.

View a copy of the draft smoking bylaw

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

 

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595