Butt out

Town sets up des­ig­nated smok­ing ar­eas at the Bruce II.

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROSALYN ROY Roslyn.roy@tc.tc

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:

http://www.assem­bly.nl.ca/leg­is­la­tion/sr/statutes/s16-2.htm

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