Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board approved an amendment to Clean Air Bylaw No. 3962 at its April 11, 2018 meeting. The amendment allows the bylaw to include burning or vaping of any substances, including cannabis, in any public space as identified in the existing bylaw, which includes: playing fields, playgrounds, and public squares.
The Clean Air Bylaw was implemented on January 1, 1999 and made all indoor public spaces 100% smoke-free. On July 1, 2007, the Bylaw was amended and all businesses were required to make patios 100% smoke-free where food and beverages are served or consumed. In September 2016, the Province of BC introduced the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act to include electronic cigarettes. It is expected that cannabis will be legalized by the federal government in 2018, making it necessary for local governments to examine and prepare for their role in regulating this substance.
“Amending the CRD bylaw is the logical next step in bringing provincial and local regulations into alignment,” said CRD Board Chair Steve Price. “As community leaders of the day, today we need to follow the good work that the leaders before us established with the current clean air bylaw.”
This amendment to the Clean Air Bylaw ensures that persons of all ages are protected from the potential immediate and long term health consequences related to second hand emissions from any substance that can be smoked or burned.
“The changes to the bylaw will build on the CRD’s continued commitment to the health and wellbeing of all Greater Victorians,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer. “These added measures are especially important for children, youth and people with underlying health problems associated with exposure to smoke.”
Island Health will continue education and awareness campaigns about changes to the bylaw through spring and summer 2018. Voluntary compliance with the bylaw has been high: education and awareness campaigns have decreased the number of people smoking in parks and reduced cigarette-related refuse. Municipal fines may be issued by Island Health Enforcement officers for observed violation of the bylaw.
For more information on the Clean Air Bylaw, please visit: https://www.crd.bc.ca/cleanair
The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For additional media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager, CRD Communications