Winnipeggers may have to soon butt out on patios, after city council voted in favour of asking the provincial government to look into extending a smoking ban to these outdoor areas.
Couns. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) and Dan Vandal (St. Boniface) put forward the motion during Wednesday’s city council meeting after constituents in each of their wards contacted them.
Council supported the motion, however, it is unclear whether or not the city can simply institute a smoking ban without the provincial government’s approval.
In an email to Metro, a spokesperson for Healthy Living Minister Sharon Blady said the city has the power to act.
“Municipalities do have authority to further restrict public smoking, and should a municipality, such as the City of Winnipeg, want to proceed with such a ban they have the legislative authority to do so,” wrote the spokesperson.
Starting next month, the Manitoba government’s ban on smoking in playgrounds and beaches in provincial parks comes into effect.
Havixbeck said the city’s public service will come back with a report and “hopefully for next year’s patio season, we will see (it) smoke-free.”
Mayor Sam Katz backed the ban on patio smoking, calling it a “no brainer.”
“We all know the impact of second-hand smoke,” he added.
Update, 9:10 p.m. – In the first draft of this article, Health Minister Erin Selby was named. Healthy Living Minister Sharon Blady is the minister responsible for the smoking bans in the province. Our apologies for the mistake.