A consequence of the Capital Regional District’s proposed update to its Clean Air bylaw will essentially make Sidney’s Beacon Avenue a smoke-free zone.
Town council on April 14 voted unanimously to have staff set in motion an update to the current CRD bylaw in effect in Sidney — and in so doing they will ban smoking in more places within the municipality. Changes to the bylaw will extend a smoking ban within the region in all public spaces, including parks and bus stops. As well, the current buffer zone between public and commercial buildings and smoking areas will jump from three meters to seven.
In Sidney, that means there would be no smoking allowed on Beacon Avenue as the buffer zone from both sides of the street overlap.
Councillor Marilyn Loveless, who was acting in Mayor Larry Cross’ stead Monday night, says council will seek to update the CRD’s bylaw in Sidney. That means all town public spaces, beaches, the waterfront walkway and boardwalk, Beacon Wharf, Bevan Pier and now Beacon Avenue, would see the ban imposed.
“That’s the expectation,” Loveless said. “It sends the message to residents that we are looking out for their health.”
Enforcing a ban will come down to peer pressure, she continued. Loveless said the opinion around the council table is that common sense will prevail and there will be little backlash.
“I think smokers now realize what they’re doing is harmful.”
The CRD is in the process of amending the Clean Air bylaw and is consulting with municipalities to list public places affected by the ban.