Council passes smoking bylaw, water rate hike

City councillors approved a 74 per cent water rate hike over the next 10 years and voted for a new, updated smoking bylaw during a busy council meeting.

Busy council meeting also approves baseball stadium lease, latest Lansdowne Park package

Ottawa city council passed a decade-long water and sewer rate hike that will see the annual cost rise by 74 per cent and approved a bylaw that puts more restrictions on where people can smoke during a busy Wednesday session.

The plan to invest $2.1 billion over 10 years on the city's water and sewer infrastructure will see the average annual rate in Ottawa jump to more than $1,000 by 2020-21, a 74 per cent increase over a decade.

Ottawa's new, expanded smoking bylaw also got the final stamp of approval Wednesday.

The new regulations, first proposed Jan. 30 by the Ottawa Board of Health, would ban smoking at bar and restaurant patios and at city-run beaches and parks. Smoking would also be prohibited at any festivals held on city property.

In the spring, bylaw officers plan to issue only warnings to smokers as people get used to the new rules. The fines, which are expected to be about $300, would start in the summer.

Councillor Steve Desroches had tried to push enforcement of the bylaw from July to September to give summer festivals and events a grace period, but the motion was defeated.

Councillors also approved the latest Lansdowne Park package — with only Councillor David Chernushenko opposing — as well the new lease agreement for Ottawa's baseball stadium.

The fast-tracking of a roundabout in Kanata South was also on the agenda for Wednesday, just one day after it received committee approval.

The roundabout would replace a four-way stop at the intersection of Stonehaven Drive and Bridgestone and Steeplechase drives, which is in Kanata's Bridlewood neighbourhood.