Smok­ing by­law in the works

Top five things to know from Wind­sor’s Oct. 23 coun­cil meeting

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS/OPINION - BY COLIN CHISHOLM WWW.HANTSJOURNAL.CA

Wind­sor town coun­cil held its reg­u­lar coun­cil meeting on Oct. 23. A va­ri­ety of top­ics were raised. Here’s some of the high­lights.

1.Wind­sor town coun­cil acknowledges Mi’kmaq his­tory

Coun. Shel­ley Bibby sought to ac­knowl­edge the sig­nif­i­cance of Mi’kmaq his­tory and cul­ture within the Wind­sor area.

Once rat­i­fied, coun­cil will be­gin each ses­sion of coun­cil by rec­og­niz­ing and hon­our­ing the un­ceded ances­tral ter­ri­tory of the Mi’kmaq First Na­tions in Nova Sco­tia.

“I had been think­ing about the prac­tice of ac­knowl­edg­ing the his­tor­i­cal in­jus­tices for some time,” Bibby said fol­low­ing the meeting. “There is some­times a hes­i­ta­tion to act on these types of ges­tures for fear that we’ll say the wrong thing or not con­sider all per­spec­tives. Or it will be viewed as too in­signif­i­cant a ges­ture.”

Bibby said she con­ducted a lot of re­search her­self lead­ing up to the res­o­lu­tion she pre­sented and con­tacted the Con­fed­er­acy of Main­land Mi’kmaq to con­sult them.

An­drew John, the claims re­search man­ager for the con­fed­er­acy, helped Bibby with the draft res­o­lu­tion.

“I fig­ure that the only way to start a process is to just do it,” she said. “If you’ve failed to rec­og­nize some­thing or in­ad­ver­tently of­fended or ex­cluded some­one, you’ll find out soon enough. But un­less you take that first step, you’ll never move for­ward to­wards the right path.”

2.Smok­ing by­law up­date passes first read­ing

Coun­cil­lors have moved for­ward with amend­ing their cur­rent smok­ing by­law, which would pro­hibit smok­ing of any kind – tobacco, va­p­ing, cannabis, et cetera – on town streets and side­walks.

Smok­ing is al­ready pro­hib­ited in town parks, play­grounds, recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, and at pub­lic town events.

The vi­o­la­tion of the by­law comes with a fine be­tween $250 and $500.

The amended by­law still needs to pass sec­ond read­ing be­fore it can be­come law.

CAO Louis Coutinho said that en­force­ment of the amended by­law could im­pact the town’s bud­get, with the need for higher en­force­ment.

The amended by­law, which would be ti­tled Re­spect­ing Smoke Free Pub­lic Spa­ces By­law, or By­law 28, orig­i­nally came into ef­fect in 2009.

The prov­ince also reg­u­lates smok­ing through the Smoke-Free Places Act, which pro­hibits smok­ing from all in­door work­places and pub­lic spa­ces along with se­lect out­door lo­ca­tions.

Essen­tially, if this amended by­law goes through, the only place some­one will be able to smoke in Wind­sor will be on their own prop­erty.

3.Pawn­bro­kers by­law passes read­ing first

Ti­tled Pawn­bro­kers By­law, or By­law 45, the town is seek­ing to reg­u­late pawn­bro­kers to en­sure mer­chan­dise is pur­chased and sold le­git­i­mately.

If passed, ev­ery pawn­bro­ker in the town will be re­quired to keep a record of all trans­ac­tions, clearly leg­i­ble in a ‘reg­is­ter of pledges.’ No en­try in the reg­is­ter is to be deleted, de­faced or torn out at any time.

The by­law also says that the reg­is­ter of pledges, as well as ev­ery ar­ti­cle or item pawned, ‘shall at all rea­son­able time’ be open to the in­spec­tion of the RCMP or mem­ber of the po­lice.

The by­law passed first read­ing.

The town’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer said the pawn­bro­kers by­law has be­come a pri­or­ity for the town af­ter the RCMP in­di­cated it as one of their strate­gies for re­duc­ing crime.

He said that the RCMP have rec­og­nized that pawn­bro­kers pro­vide a le­git­i­mate ser­vice to the com­mu­nity, but at times they get ap­proached to sell un­reg­u­lated or un­known mer­chan­dise, in other words, re­selling stolen goods.

Coutinho said this is­sue is seen as a prov­ince-wide pri­or­ity, adding that most po­lice de­part­ments are work­ing with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to es­tab­lish sim­i­lar by­laws.

“It is an op­por­tu­nity… for the pub­lic to have some com­fort know­ing that if they’re pur­chas­ing items that busi­nesses are not buy­ing stolen prop­erty,” Coutinho said.

Kamile Chater, one of the pawn bro­kers in the town, was in at­ten­dance.

The by­law will go to sec­ond read­ing and likely some fur­ther dis­cus­sion and pub­lic input next month.

4.Com­mer­cial De­vel­op­ment District passes

The Com­mer­cial De­vel­op­ment District (CDD), pri­mar­ily en­com­pass­ing down­town Wind­sor, has passed sec­ond read­ing.

The CDD, which pro­vides a tax in­cen­tive for de­vel­op­ers and landown­ers to make im­prove­ments and up­grades to com­mer­cial build­ings with­out get­ting stung with a big tax bill, was made pos­si­ble via provin­cial leg­is­la­tion Bill 177.

(we­blink - https://www.hantsjournal.ca/ news/wind­sor-may-es­tab­lish-com­mer­cialde­vel­op­ment-district-to-boost-busi­ness­growth-164018/)

Coun­cil­lors passed the mo­tion sec­ond read­ing unan­i­mously.

If the CDD doesn’t re­quire min­is­te­rial ap­proval from the prov­ince, then the CDD will be of­fi­cially law once it’s ad­ver­tised. for

5.Com­mu­ni­ca­tions staffing po­si­tion in limbo

Wind­sor coun­cil set aside fund­ing for a full-time com­mu­ni­ca­tions / mar­ket­ing po­si­tion in their 2018/19 bud­get. That per­son would be tasked with field­ing me­dia re­quests, writ­ing press re­leases, and man­ag­ing the town’s ex­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

(we­blink - https://www.hantsjournal.ca/ news/lo­cal/com­mer­cial-and-res­i­den­tial­tax-rates-to-de­crease-as-wind­sor-coun­cilap­proves-pro­posed-bud­get-209078/)

The town has been in ne­go­ti­a­tions with at least one can­di­date for that role, how­ever, that po­si­tion re­mains on hold as Wind­sor coun­cil de­lib­er­ates shar­ing that role with West Hants, espe­cially as con­sol­i­da­tion gets un­der­way.

The po­si­tion will be tem­po­rar­ily re­moved from the town bud­get while those dis­cus­sions with West Hants con­tinue. Those funds could be re­as­signed, pend­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

That mo­tion passed unan­i­mously by coun­cil.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity of West Hants al­ready has a com­mu­ni­ca­tions per­son on staff.

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