City parks will soon be added to the list of places in Sudbury where you can't smoke. Sudbury councillors voted unanimously Tuesday night to ban smoking from parks, playgrounds, arenas and other recreational areas.
Councillor Jacques Barbeau had spoken out against a total ban at an earlier meeting, but said he changed his mind after going out and speaking with Sudburians.
"I targeted the smokers," he said. "And I was quite surprised that they were in favour of supporting such a bylaw."
Some councillors had concerns about how the new bylaw would be enforced, but Coun. Dave Kilgour said this shouldn’t be an issue. There were similar worries a decade ago when smoking was banned from restaurants and bars, he said.
"Very shortly after this, peer pressure and people just giving a person dirty looks was the solution to the problem."
Sudbury joins a list of 50 other cities and towns in Ontario, including North Bay, that have banned smoking from municipal parks.
'Smoking is not illegal'
A few councillors wanted to go further and ban smoking from the grounds of Tom Davies Square and other city buildings, but Coun. Andre Rivest said he thought that would be going too far, too fast.
"You can't just put it all down," Rivest said.
"After all, all Greater Sudburians are taxpayers and we have to represent everyone fairly too. Smoking is not illegal."
Council asked city staff to report back on the options for restricting smoking on other municipal property.
As for the ban in city parks, council will decide at an upcoming meeting when that will take effect.