Globe and Mail
POSTED AT 11:43 PM EST
Monday, November 25
Fredericton announces smoke-free zones
Fredericton — New Brunswick's capital city has taken the provincial lead by banning smoking in all eating and drinking spots, bingo halls and pool parlours.
Fredericton's smoke-free zone goes into effect July 1, but smoking will still be permitted at outdoor cafes during the summer months.
For restaurants, bars and pubs that have outdoor patios or sidewalk cafes, their patrons won't have to butt out until next October when the cafes close for the winter.
City council approved the smoking ban for all indoor public places — including hotels, shopping malls, convenience stores, bowling alleys and public common areas — in a seven-to-three decision Monday night.
Bar, beverage room and pub owners, who were the principal antagonists of the legislation, left City Hall clearly angry, pledging to find out if they have any option for fighting the proposed law.
Coun. Scott McConaghy, who has spent the last four years of his council term trying to bring a smoking law forward, claimed the day as a forward-looking victory for Fredericton.
Mr. McConaghy piloted the city's first go at a law banning smoking in restaurants, but the law was struck down earlier this year because a judge found it discriminatory. It originally excluded businesses that mainly cater to the smoking-drinking set, namely the nightclub market and the pubs and beverage rooms, but forced restaurants to go 100 per cent smoke-free.
As for the provincial government, which has so far refused to adopt provincewide standards on smoking in public areas, McConaghy said Premier Bernard Lord and Health Minister Elvy Robichaud are way behind on the issue. The province should have moved on the smoking ban and done so a long time ago, Mr. McConaghy said.
"There's no question that people who live outside of Fredericton have the right to have the same kind of security and the health concerns addressed that are now being addressed in Fredericton. It only makes sense," Mr. McConaghy told reporters after the council session.