COMMENTARY: New smoking laws drop more work on Cornwall

New smoking regulations passed by the province which went into effect Jan. 1 will probably mean more enforcement at public places like this splash pad. The new law also covers all open-air patios too. (Photo/City of Cornwall)

I’m Bill Kingston with today’s commentary. The government has taken the battle on smokers to another level. New regulations went into effect Jan. 1 banning the practice of smoking on open air patios, around playgrounds and publicly owned sports fields. The provincial government and even our own Cornwall government, has gone to great lengths to de-normalize the practice. It’s one thing to pass laws but it’s another thing to enforce them. The province has essentially dropped more work on Cornwall (it’s really surreptitious ‘downloading’) with no promise of financial help to enforce the laws it’s created but is more than happy to drop in the laps of municipalities. Are we going to now have bylaw officers (not that we have very many of them) running around the city chasing smoking complaints at tennis courts, basketball courts, in addition to the Cornwall bylaw coverage which already enforced no smoking around the splash pad in Lamoureux Park? This is the same department that has its hands full with property standards. This law isn’t going to really get a rise out of people until patio weather because business patrons aren’t exactly clamoring to get on patios in January. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Cornwall bylaw is forced into a position to add staff to enforce laws it’s been legislated to uphold.

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