Nova Scotia

Smoking in wrong place could cost up to $2,000 under new Halifax bylaws

'We are saying that you will have to look for a sign for where you can smoke'

July 17, 2018

People will now need to look for signs that show the places they're allowed to smoke (kavee29/Shutterstock)
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Halifax Regional Council has voted in favour of new bylaws that will regulate smoking in public areas and ban smoking on all municipal property.

The rules ban smoking on sidewalks, streets and all other municipal properties including parks, trails and playgrounds.

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The council voted 13-3 in favour of the so-called respecting nuisances bylaw.

The bylaw proposal said the legalization of cannabis would create nuisances from odours related to smoking and plant cultivation.

Restrictions apply to pot, tobacco and vaping

These restrictions will apply to pot, tobacco and vaping. Fines will range from $25 to $2,000.

The only exceptions will be designated smoking areas and rented campsites.

People also won't be able to grow marijuana plants outside unless in a shed or greenhouse, though once it is legalized, people will be permitted to grow plants indoors.

Brendan Elliott, a spokesperson for the city, told CBC's Mainstreet that these rules will mean a change in mindset for smokers.

"We are saying that you will have to look for a sign for where you can smoke," said Elliott. "Whereas smokers right now walk down the street and they see a sign that says no smoking."

He said people should be fine to smoke in cars as long as they don't create a "nuisance." He added that fines will be used as a last resort.

Darrell Dexter, a cannabis lobbyist and the former premier of Nova Scotia, said concerns around second-hand smoke are legitimate. But he said the majority of recreational users aren't smokers and consume edibles instead.

Darrell Dexter said concerns around second-hand smoke are legitimate but the vast majority of people who are consuming in the recreational market are not smokers. (CBC)

Dexter said it will be difficult to enforce these restrictions when it comes to consuming in a public place, but he thinks things will change within a year or two.

"These issues are going to resolve as people become more comfortable with the market and understand what that recreational activity looks like as opposed to what they fear it will look like."

Elliott said nothing will be implemented before Labour Day, but the rules will likely be put in place a few weeks before cannabis becomes legal in mid-October.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danielle d'Entremont
Reporter/Editor

Danielle d’Entremont is a reporter based in Halifax. She previously worked for CBC Toronto and is happy as a clam to be back in her hometown. She’s always fishing for interesting stories. Send your story to her at danielle.dentremont@cbc.ca.

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