Town sets up designated smoking areas at the Bruce II.
It’s not uncommon to see smokers huddled just outside the main doors of the Bruce II sports arena or other public buildings in Port aux Basques.
It’s also not uncommon to see the ground littered with butts.
The Town of Port aux Basques has decided it needs to create a space for people to smoke at the Bruce II, so non-smokers don’t have to walk past or be exposed to cigarette smoke near those public buildings, by setting up a butt disposal container near the building.
At a regular town council meeting on Jan. 17, Councilor Charlene Blackmore suggested the possibility of having a dedicated smoking area outside the Bruce II. `
At the next meeting, on Feb. 7, the council adopted the motion to create smoking areas. They are purchasing two butt disposal containers, each costing $139.
“We’re not going to stop them smoking,” said Robyn Noseworthy, Recreation Director and Facilities Manager of the Bruce II. “If government can’t do it, we can’t either. The Bruce is so occupied we are least hoping to keep it more contained.”
Two smoking areas will be constructed, one tentatively slated to be put into the existing green space outside the Bruce II Sports Complex. The location of the second smoking corner will have to wait until the weather gets better and the snow melts. After that council may decide put more smoking corners in public places such as Scott’s Cove or Andy’s Rainbow Park.
“We certainly don’t want to encourage it,” said Noseworthy, “but at the same time we want to keep our public spaces clean.”
When asked why Port-aux-Basques simply didn’t ban smoking on all town property instead of just inside buildings, Todd Strickland, the town’s acting mayor said the practical application of such a bylaw would make it difficult.
“One of the biggest issues that would have to be in place to make such a thing happen would have to be some type of enforcement, which at present is something that we, the town, don’t have.”
The province has legislation making it illegal to smoke in many places — workplaces and public buildings.
The Smoke Free Environment Act, 2016, also makes it illegal to smoke in a vehicle when a child is in that vehicle.
However, there is no law in the province banning smoking on properties owned by provincial or municipal governments.
You can find out more on the laws on smoking in Newfoundland and Labrador here: