The City of Regina is reviewing smoking rules for outdoor spaces — such as restaurant patios.
Officials have launched an online survey and are planning several public consultations over the next few weeks.
The Smoking Bylaw governs where smoking is and isn’t allowed in Regina.
It’s banned in many indoor spaces. The consultation will ask about possible new rules for parks, pools, athletic fields and festivals.
The city is also asking for people’s thoughts on vaping, e-cigarettes and hookahs.
Currently, for example, Regina allows smoking, on restaurant patios. But that practice that has been banned in Saskatoon since 2004.
‘There are members of council, myself included, who would like to see some restrictions.’
– Regina Mayor Michael Fougere
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said he doesn’t want to presume what will come out of the consultations, although he has some ideas of his own about the issue.
“There are members of council, myself included, who would like to see some restrictions,” he said. “To say where that’s going to be and the fine tuning of it is very much a public engagement process to say they are comfortable with that.”
Several provinces have widespread bans
Many provinces have banned smoking on restaurant patios, including Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Saskatchewan has left the decision up to individual municipalities.
“We meet the provincial standard and in many ways you could argue that the province should deal with the health issue such as smoking in public places is a health issue. They don’t want to do that they want municipalities to deal with them by themselves so we’re going to do that,” Fougere said.
Saskatoon banned smoking on restaurant patios in 2004. In 2016, Saskatoon expanded its smoking bylaw to ban lighting up in outdoor public spaces owned by the city. Including parks and trails, playgrounds, sports fields, spray pads, outdoor and paddling pools, skateboard sites, golf courses, tennis courts, dog…