Council moves to ban smoking from all public parks

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By Nick Seebruch
Council moves to ban smoking from all public parks
Cigarette butts discarded by smokers can be found along the Waterfront Trail (John MacGillis/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall City Council moved to ban smoking in all public parks at their meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019.

Council also moved that smoking be banned within 20 metres of the watrefront trail. One area of exclusion for the by-law was named out, the patio at the RCAF Wing 424 building near Lamoureux Park.

Councillor Dean Hollingsworth made his opposition to the motion clear.

“I would not support this under any circumstances,” he said. “Litter by-law if I smoke and throw it on the ground, I’ve littered and there’s a fine, but no one knows that because it is never enforced. When we talk about enforcing the litter by-law, then we can come and talk about this because if we can’t enforce that than we can’t enforce anything else.”

Some Councillors however felt that Council should start somewhere when it comes to sending an anti-smoking/ anti-littering message.

“We need to put the message out there that this council does not want you to put garbage in the river, we don’t want you littering all over the place,” said Councillor Syd Gardiner. “We need to walk the talk and stop finding excuses to not pass by-laws.”

Mayor Bernadette Clement agreed.

“I know that enforcement is always a problem, but there is also a leadership role,” she said. “It is always a process and starts somewhere.”

Now that Council has conveyed their intent to ban smoking, administration will write a by-law and determine penalties for violating it. As an example, administration pointed to the City of Brockville which fines violators of their anti-smoking by-law $250 per violation.

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