Port Coquitlam city council is mulling new anti-smoking bylaws the city’s mayor says will be the toughest in B.C.
Brad West said the bylaws are in response to numerous complaints from residents about prolific smokers congregating near city hall, Veterans’ Park and Shaughnessy Street.
“I’m not talking about the occasional smoke that’s a nuisance but not really a problem, this is persistent, ongoing smoking to the point where many of our residents don’t feel comfortable coming to certain areas of downtown Port Coquitlam,” he told Global News.
Under the bylaw, which West said he hopes to see pass in the next two weeks, the fine for smoking in prohibited areas would climb from the current $70 to $250.
It would ban smoking within 7.5 metres of any public building, in parks, in crosswalks and anywhere people gather, he said.
The city has also hired two new bylaw officers and expanded the hours and days of the week in which they patrol. West said it’s being made clear they’re expected to crack down on the smokers.
“There shouldn’t be no-go zones for groups of people,” West said.