- Category: news
- Created: Friday, 19 April 2013 09:42
- Published: Friday, 19 April 2013 09:42
- Written by Administrator 3
- Hits: 658
by Deborah Pfeiffer
The Penticton council has amended the smoking regulation bylaw in progress to include an exemption for the traditional First Nations cultural use of tobacco in aboriginal ceremonies.
As part of the due process in adopting the bylaw, a draft was sent to the Interior Health tobacco reduction coordinator for comment. They subsequently suggested the exemption.
“It is just to acknowledge the traditional right of aboriginal people to use tobacco for cultural purposes,” said acting mayor Garry Litke.
The council has made the West Okanagan Lake Waterfront one of its strategic priorities and introducing smoking restrictions on beaches supports the effort.
On March 4, the council gave the first three readings to the bylaw to introduce smoking bans at locations including beaches, playgrounds and parks.
The third reading of the bylaw was rescinded to allow for the exemption and subsequently was passed, with only Councillor Wes Hopkin opposed.
"I wasn't opposed to the exemption," he said. "I'm just opposed to the whole bylaw generally."
There are financial implications linked to the ban, because there is a requirement to install no smoking signs at the beaches. The signs cost $35 each.
Litke said the city is also taking cleanliness and second hand smoke into consideration.
“We had problems with cigarette butts and air quality on the beaches, because it is sometimes densely packed there,” he said. “And the societal norm has gone to an absence of smoking.”
The amendment bylaw will be back on the May 6 agenda for adoption.