Barrie City Hall Mulling Over Update To Smoking Guidelines That Includes Pot, Vaping

Draft Bylaw Sent to Finance Committee for Review

City Hall has drafted a new guideline on where you can and cannot smoke ’em if you got ’em, and are waiting for some final checks and balances before putting it in stone.

Monday night’s council meet saw officials consider a new smoking bylaw that contains provisions outlining not only cannabis, but vaping too.

The new bylaw indicates you cannot smoke or vape tobacco or cannabis within twenty metres of any city playground. It is also prohibited to smoke or vape near outdoor sporting areas, or the grounds of a community recreational facility like the Holly Rec Centre.

Regulations introduced by the city expand regulations to outdoor patios and restaurants. The new provisions ban smoking or vaping within 9 metres of a bar patio. This means you can no longer stand just outside one of Barrie’s downtown bars and smoke away, you’ve got to move down the street. Smoking anything in the workplace is still banned, just as before.

Under the new regulations, the city plans to hire two new summer students in enforcement positions, as an awareness effort; the pair will visit city parks, sports fields, and city facilities to make sure everyone knows of the new regulations.

The new bylaw means no smoking signage must be installed across the city, at a cost of $45,000. The signs will be installed as time permits, so long as the new bylaw is ratified at next week’s council meeting.

Councillor Doug Shipley felt the whole thing needed more consideration, and referred the whole bylaw to a finance committee for further review. Meanwhile, the city plans to move forward with the hiring of two student positions so they be in place once the bylaw is.