Written by Jessica Smith in Ottawa Metro
Board of Health goes beyond councillor’s initial request in recommending 24-hour outdoor smoking ban
The city’s Board of Health will consider a 24-hour ban on smoking outdoors on city properties and bar and restaurant patios at a special meeting next Monday.
The Ottawa Board of Health will consider a report that recommends banning smoking on bar and restaurant patios and all municipal properties – including parks, playgrounds, beaches, sports fields, fruit and vegetable markets and outdoor areas around city buildings.
The report comes after Councillor Stephen Blais asked the Board of Health to consider such a ban – but one that would only be in effect before 8 p.m.
“I proposed the 8 p.m. (version of the ban) as kind of a starting point in the conversation to be pragmatic,” said Blais, adding he was keeping the interests of bar and restaurant owners in mind.
After the Ottawa Public Health consulted with bar owners and the public, the city found there is support for a 24-hour ban as long as it is enforced uniformly, said Blais.
“I think the changes are pragmatic and balanced to make sure that Ottawa remains one of the safest places to live and raise a family,” he said.
If council is to give the recommendations final approval, the ban will first be approved by the Board of Health and the Community and Protective Services Committee.
“Everything should in place before the patio season starts in April,” Blais said.
Blais said he expects some smokers to oppose the plan, adding, “You’re never going to please everyone with every decision you make.”