County’s public behaviour bylaw updated

·1 min read

Wheatland County has updated its public behaviour bylaw to modernize it and make it consistent with provincial legislation regarding smoking and vaping.

The updated bylaw prohibits smoking or vaping tobacco in, on or within five metres of an outdoor skating rink, playground, skate park or sports field accessed by the public, and within five metres of an entrance or exit to a public premise. The bylaw also prohibits any consumption of cannabis in any public place, unless they are medically entitled to do so under provincial regulation. These offences were already prohibited under provincial law.

The bylaw also requires no-smoking signs to be posted at each entrance to any public place, workplace or public vehicle, as well as inside each public place. Smoking or vaping in prohibited locations warrant a $250 fine for a first-time offence and a $500 fine for subsequent offences.

The county’s public behaviour bylaw, first passed in 2012, establishes restrictions on certain behaviours to ensure safe public spaces, including public defecation, fighting, loitering and trespassing.

The county’s operations and building management department requested to add some restrictions to address tobacco and cannabis vaping and use within certain distances of doorways on county owned facilities. This was to ensure the bylaw was in-line with the provincial Tobacco and Smoking Reduction Act, last amended in June 2018.

All RCMP detachments serving Wheatland County were circulated the updated bylaw. No written comments were received, but the detachments supported the changes verbally, said Kris Permann, senior community peace officer with the county. During its regular meeting on Nov. 10, council passed the bylaw unanimously through three separate readings.

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times