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Redcliff council passes first reading of smoking bylaw

Posted on August 28, 2018 by 40 Mile Commentator

Jeremy Appel
Southern Alberta Newspapers

Council discussed at its Aug. 20 meeting the first reading of its Smoke Free Bylaw, which is of heightened importance with recreational marijuana’s nation-wide legalization scheduled for Oct. 17.
The town currently doesn’t have a smoking bylaw, opting instead to follow the Alberta Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act.
Having its own smoking bylaw for the purposes of cannabis legalization allows the town to enact further restrictions than those imposed by the province.
“This bylaw amalgamates a few of the different acts and adds cannabis in here,” explained Mayor Dwight Kilpatrick.
While the province requires a three-metre setback for smoking outside a building, this bylaw would increase it to 10 m.
Coun. Chris Czember argued the provincial regulations are sufficient.
“It might just be creating more of a headache enforcing it,” he said. “I personally think that business as usual is the best option.”
Coun. Shawna Cockle said the difficulty of full enforcement is besides the point.
“We do host a lot of outdoor events with children, and I think if in general it stops the majority from smoking in front of our children, then every bit helps,” said Cockle.
The motion by Coun. Jim Steinke to pass the bylaw’s first reading passed.
Delegation objects to bike trail expansion
Two Redcliff residents raised objection to the town’s plans for expanding its bike trail.
Medicine Hat-based 670 Collective Mountain Bike Club wants to expand the trail by three kilmotres, but the land they want to use is under an agricultural and grazing lease from the town.
But Karen Guenther and Kathy Dawson don’t want to see their lease revoked, so they presented their case to council.
They argued the land’s slope is too unstable to support a trail; grazing reduces excess vegetation, which in turn reduces the likelihood of fires; it is important to protect the local ecosystem; and the pasture has a therapeutic role in the community that ought to be preserved.
The delegates told council they weren’t consulted about the fate of the land and only found out about the plan through the bike club.
But town administration says they did send a notification.
Council voted to receive Guenther and Dawson’s presentation as information.

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