Chilliwack City Council Passes Outdoor Smoking Ban – Can It Be Enforced?

Chilliwack, BC (With files from Star FM and Progress)- Chilliwack City Council is roaring face first into territory that on paper is a no-brainer, considering the dangers of how tinder dry the Fraser Valley has become.

But can this be enforced?

The City of Chilliwack drafted a new bylaw toward becoming completely smoke-free — both inside and out.

At Council on Tuesday, City Councilors drafted a new bylaw to formally ban smoking in outdoor public spaces. This includes parks, trails, bus stops and close proximity to public facilities (City Hall, Library, Rec Centres etc). Fines can be as high as $10,000.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz, citing no-smoking rules adopted in Vancouver, Victoria, White Rock, and Whistler are pointing to their policies as templates.

Council unanimously voted in July to have staff draft a bylaw to prohibit smoking in outdoor public spaces, and that was backed up on Tuesday.

The push to go smoke-free outdoors in Chilliwack obviously looks at fire safety concerns, considering the spike in smoking related wild fires and bark mulch fires.

The majority are human caused by the flick of a cigarette butt.

Chilliwack Fire has seen a 200 per cent increase in those fires.

This time last year there were only 45 bark mulch or grass fires reported. This year— the numbers don’t lie. 134 fires so far this year.

An Outdoor smoking ban  also takes in health considerations, and the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Fraser Health and Canadian Cancer Society submitted proposals to back up the legislation.

The trick is now, enforcement with Council hinted at plenty of self-policing.

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