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Thursday May 22nd, 2014

Posted at 10:00am

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The Town of Essex is holding an Open House on Monday, June 9th to provide the community with an opportunity to offer additional input on a proposed by-law that would ban or restrict smoking outdoors on specific types of municipally-owned or leased properties.

The properties affected include parks and trails, playgrounds, sports fields, recreation facilities, harbour (excluding private boats) and beach, splash pads, skate parks and other municipal properties.

Prior to calling this open house, the Town sought public input through the Outdoor Smoke-Free By-Law Survey. That survey ran during the month of November 2013 and received 426 responses. Donna Hunter, Director of Corporate Services, shared the survey results with Council at the April 7th regular meeting. Council then directed the Town’s administration to proceed with an open house to provide an additional opportunity for public input.

“Public participation is important to understanding the needs and wishes of our community,” says Hunter. “We encourage everyone, both individuals and groups, to come out and share their thoughts on this important issue.”

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act currently prohibits smoking in all municipal buildings. Bill 131, the Youth Smoking Prevention Act, was introduced in the Legislative Assembly in November and, if passed, was expected to prohibit smoking on playgrounds, sport fields and spectator areas adjacent to sport fields. When the provincial election was recently called, all legislation before the house stopped. Notwithstanding this development, municipalities may pass by-laws restricting or banning smoking outdoors on municipally-owned property.

The open house will take place at  Essex Town Hall, located at 33 Talbot Street South from  5:30 to 7pm.

 

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