Edmonton bans smoking in parks, playgrounds 0
Edmonton City Hall has passed a ban on smoking within 10 metres of a playground, outdoor rink, skate park, sports field or spray park. (David Bloom/QMI Agency photo illustration)
EDMONTON - It's time to butt out near children at play, according to Edmonton City Hall.
The city council has passed a bylaw banning smoking within 10 metres of a playground, outdoor rink, skate park, sports field or spray park - all of which is music to Sarah Hawkins' ears.
The spokeswoman for the Canadian Cancer Society said they knew there was strong support, but they are still encouraged by the bylaw.
"Hopefully, what it will mean is people will be a little bit more conscious of where they are smoking and abide by the law, take those steps back in order to protect children from exposure," Hawkins said.
Anyone caught violating the bylaw will face a $250 fine.
The vote was delayed after Coun. Kerry Diotte voted down consent for third reading in March and voted against it until the end, calling it a nanny-state bylaw.
"It's basically a bylaw that's unenforceable," Diotte said. "We cannot pro-actively go out and grab people who are smoking there."
Diotte blasted the $75,000 price tag for public education to tell people not to smoke in front of kids.
Coun. Don Iveson said Edmonton has been at the front of promoting health and protecting vulnerable people and thinks other municipalities will follow suit.
"Enforcement isn't really the issue with this law," he said.
Coun. Kim Krushell agreed it's about the message, not about cracking down on smokers.
"Anything we do can do to reinforce the fact that smoking is not something that we want to promote in our city, that's not a bad thing," she said.