Council passes up smoking debate

City council took a pass on debating amendments to a clean air bylaw that effectively loosened new smoking restrictions

City council took a pass on debating amendments to a clean air bylaw that effectively loosened new smoking restrictions proposed a year ago.

Council passed third reading of the revised bylaw at their July 24 meeting with next to no debate.

The revisions of the original bylaw, which were discussed at length in a July 25 story in the Times Review, mean a blanket ban of smoking in parks is eliminated and smoking on city-leased patios will be at the discretion of local restaurants.

City planning director John Guenther said the planning department will now work on plans for new no-smoking signs and ashtrays in the downtown core and in some locations in city parks.

This will include new ashtrays and smoking areas around Grizzly Plaza and other locations. Guenther said the department was looking at purchasing industrial ashtrays and had brainstormed the idea of approaching the Arts Council to see if local artists would be interested in competing to design the new ashtrays.

“It has to fit into the area and it has to be well done,” he said.