Butt out on city property, says mayor

by James O'Connor - June 20, 2018

The City of Yellowknife has banned smoking and vaping on all city-managed recreational properties.

There is just one smoking area for city hall, under the new smoking ban.

With the exception of trails, designated smoking areas and traditional ceremonies involving tobacco, all public parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities are smoke free, stated a news release today.

“We want our city facilities to be clean and safe for all of our residents,” stated Mayor Mark Heyck. “This ban will keep the air clean around our buildings, and hopefully create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all.”

Signage indicating where residents can smoke has been installed at all city parks and facilities, stated the release.

There is one designated smoking area between the Multiplex and the Fieldhouse. In addition there is one designated smoking area each at the Yellowknife Curling Club, Yellowknife Community Arena, and the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool.

There is also one smoking area for city hall and Somba K’e Park. The Solid Waste Facility has two smoking areas.

Since 2004, smoking has been banned in the territory’s indoor public spaces and workplaces.

The city banned smoking from inside public buildings, office buildings, restaurants and bars in 2003.

The changes to the smoking by-law actually became effective on May 1.

Prior to that, during council debate on the matter, it wasn’t made clear how the ban would be enforced or what the penalties would be for violating it.

City officials suggested a phase-in period with public education was called for.