CRD board butts out smoking ban

A proposed ban on smoking in parks, playgrounds and public spaces was defeated

A proposed ban on smoking in all public places including parks, playgrounds and wilderness areas in the Capital Regional District was defeated by a 12-11 vote at the CRD meeting on Wednesday, May 8.

Juan de Fuca regional director Mike Hicks said, “I think all of the directors recognize that second hand smoke is evil, and it can’t be tolerated, but where we (the directors) differed was the blanket ban.

“The CRD could ban smoking in areas where the general public are exposed to unavoidable second hand smoke. This would include all playgrounds, some parks and some beaches such as Thetis Lake. It should not include isolated West Coast Beaches in the Juan de Fuca where second hand smoke is avoidable. All beaches west of French Beach would fall into this category,” said Hicks.

He said public places, of course, should be ruled non-smoking but not on the wild West Coast.

“It’s a law they can’t enforce,” said Hicks.

He said that in his riding, which includes the Pacheedaht tradition territory, where they run a campground on a beautiful beach, would have to be consulted.

“I wasn’t going to tell them that,” said Hicks.

Councillor Rick Kasper, alternate director for Mayor Wendal Milne also voted against the ban.

The ban, if it had of passed, would have been enforced by complaints,