Lumby councillor protests smoking ban

Council decides to prohibit smoking at recreational facilities attracting youth

Not everyone favours butting out in Lumby.

Coun. Nick Hodge was in the minority as council gave three readings Monday to a bylaw that would ban smoking in areas used by children, such as the pool, the playground and the skateboard park.

“I thought we were rushing it. We didn’t check with the public about going ahead with this,” he said.

“It’s not the biggest issue in the world. Lumby has bigger problems to deal with.”

Hodge believes the bylaw may be directed towards students who can’t smoke at Charles Bloom Secondary and cross the road to the park to light up.

“The motivation is to harass young people and they don’t deserve that,” he said.

However, other members of council back the bylaw.

“When smaller children are around, they won’t be around second-hand smoke,” said Coun. Lori Mindnich.

“We want to protect the young ones.”

The ban will not impact areas used by adults, such as the ball fields.

Mindnich says compromise is the focus of the bylaw.

“They (adults) have a right to use the park as much as anyone and we just don’t want smoking around the kids,” she said.

Mayor Kevin Acton doesn’t believe there should be a complete ban on smoking for adults at recreational facilities.

“Twenty per cent of the population still smokes and we don’t want to be unwelcoming to special events or having the park used,” he said.

Acton acknowledges, though, that there are some adults who don’t want to be around cigarette smoke.

“They will have the choice to enter those grounds or not,” he said.

Smoking will be allowed at a picnic table near the skateboard park for parents or skateboarders who are old enough to smoke.

The bylaw must still be adopted by Lumby council before it comes into law.