Results from a District of Invermere (DOI) survey show that an overwhelming majority of Invermere residents approve of a smoking ban in the community. Seventy-nine percent of the 184 residents who responded to the survey agreed that the DOI should ban smoking from “all public parks, trails, pathways and facilities.”
At a council meeting on Tuesday, May 8th, Chris Prosser, chief administrative officer for the DOI, told council members the results show that there is “support in the community.”
That support included enthusiastic survey responses that were peppered with exclamation marks.
One respondent wrote: “Super excited for this if it goes through! Well done!”
While 23 respondents indicated that they were smokers, they weren’t the only ones opposed to the ban. Thirty eight people thought the ban shouldn’t be approved.
In an anonymous comment, one non-smoker wrote: “Most smokers seem to be fairly considerate about where they smoke in public. We cannot let a few bad apples spoil the lot with unnecessary regulation.”
While council unanimously agreed to move forward, the ban will come back to council for final approval at the May 22nd council meeting.
Mr. Prosser said the proposed ban includes cigarettes, marijuana, e-cigarettes and vaping. If the ban is approved, it is scheduled to begin July 1st.
Mayor Gerry Taft said part of the goal is to have “less cigarette butts on the ground.”
In addition to installing no-smoking signs at park entrances, he said the DOI would have containers where people could deposit their cigarette butts before accessing the park.
In other DOI news, council agreed to purchase equipment to continue screening Movies in the Mountains. Mr. Prosser said renting the equipment for one season would cost about the same amount as purchasing it outright, so council authorized spending up to $25,000 to purchase the equipment.
Council also responded to a request to make the handicapped parking stall in front of the post office more accessible. Drivers will now be able to angle park or parallel park in the spot as they prefer.
Wrapping up the meeting, Mayor Taft summarized the outcomes.
“Park however you like, but don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground,” he said with a smile.
Radium council opts to allow smoking in public places
The Village of Radium Hot Springs chose not to implement a smoking bylaw, Mayor Clara Reinhardt said after the Village’s May 9th council meeting.
Instead the community is planning to put up signs asking people to be respectful of others when they smoke.
Some condos and strata buildings don’t allow smoking, and “you have to let people smoke somewhere,” she said.