WINNIPEG – City council passed a motion Wednesday afternoon asking the province to impose a smoking ban on patios.
The ban would be added to the decade-old provincial law that bans smoking in all enclosed public places.
“We have major cities, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Ottawa have all implemented bylaws that ban smoking on patios, so we’re behind the times on that one,” said Murray Gibson of the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance (MANTRA).
Some local restaurants are imposing the ban without a law, including Carbone Coal Fired Pizza, where a smoke-free patio is opening this weekend.
“For any guests that are enjoying their meals or wine on the patio, they don’t have to worry about anyone blowing cigarette smoke towards them,” said Benjamin Nasberg, of Carbone.
Manitoba has the highest rate of 20- to 24-year-old smokers in Canada and banning smoking on patios could help eliminate social smoking, MANTRA said.
“We don’t have to link having a good time and enjoying good food with smoking,” said Gibson.
While the province hasn’t been planning to impose non-smoking patios, if Winnipeg councillors want to make patios smoke-free, they have the power to do so, provincial officials said.
“In terms of the legislation, municipalities like the City of Winnipeg are already in power, that if they would like to extend the no-smoking ban to patios, they can do it on their own council floor, as can any other municipality,” said Healthy Living Minister Sharon Blady.
“We know the province isn’t going to take the first step on this and I think it’s incumbent on municipalities to move forward on initiatives of public health,” said St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal.
© Shaw Media, 2014