Ban smoking in all public places? Burnaby nixes proposal

Motion would have explored banning smoking on sidewalks, in parking lots and in public squares

Burnaby city council nixed a proposal Monday that could have seen smoking and vaping of all substances banned in all public places in the city, including sidewalks, parking lots and outdoor areas on private property such as Metrotown’s civic square. 

A motion from the city’s parks, recreation and culture commission asked council to direct staff to study the “feasibility and advisability” of the far-reaching ban.

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The proposal, however, rankled some on council.

“Full disclosure: I, as about 15 per cent of the population of British Columbians, smoke. Shame on me,” Coun. Colleen Jordan said.

The councillor said she didn’t understand the motion, which exceeded a staff recommendation to consider banning smoking in city parks. Jordan said her interpretation of the proposed ban would encompass every street and sidewalk in Burnaby, as well as outdoor patios at pubs, seniors homes and the casino.

“If that’s the case, that’s way beyond what this report talked about and that’s a huge change in the policy that we’ve had in the city for many years,” she said. 

Councillors Pietro Calendino and Sav Dhaliwal pointed out the motion would simply direct staff to study such a ban, but later voted in favour of an amendment proposed by Jordan to limit the scope of the review to public places owned, controlled or operated by the city.

At the same meeting, council passed a motion asking staff to study potentially banning the advertisement of vaping products in the city. 

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