Council fails to clear the air

Resident takes direct aim at Lumby council over its decision on smoking

This is a reply to the article entitled Lumby councillor protests smoking ban.

When I moved to Lumby, I was under the impression that it was supposed to be a progressive community. When a councillor protests a smoking ban to please a small percentage of the population (i.e. smokers who use the grounds), I seriously question the integrity of the council itself.

Mayor Acton stated: “Twenty per cent of the population still smokes and we don’t want to be unwelcoming to special events or having the park used.”

What about the 80 per cent of the population that doesn’t smoke? What about the children using the grounds? What about their right to breathe clean air and to play in an area that is free of cigarette butts?

Our taxes have been allotted to develop recreational facilities to cater to individuals wanting to promote a healthy lifestyle. These facilities are not developed to cater to individuals who cannot control their urge to smoke.

When considering non-smoking adults who don’t want to be around cigarette smoke, Acton goes on to state: “They will have the choice to enter those grounds or not.”

Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Since smokers are part of the minority, shouldn’t they be making the choice to attend the grounds (or not)?

I was under the impression that the council was supposed to represent the majority of people’s interests.

Moreover, Councillor Hodge seems to be very concerned that the proposed bylaw would serve to “harass young people,” since they would no longer possess an area to light up. Upholding a law that prohibits underage people to smoke is not harassment. I am positive that the majority would agree that it is common sense.

This is not a statement against smokers. It is a statement against the idea that smoking would be allowed in an area where children play, where people exercise and where communal events are held. It is also a statement that opposes the allotment for a specific area for children to smoke.

Allowing people to smoke on recreational grounds will not promote their use.

By doing research in regards to other towns that have implemented bans on smoking in parks and facilities, I am confident that Acton and Hodge will come to their senses.

Kevin Yapps

Lumby