Surrey set to ban smoking in public parks
Published Sunday, January 23, 2011 7:25PM PST
B.C.'s second largest city is set to follow the examples set by Vancouver and White Rock and ban smoking in public parks.
Surrey council is expected to pass a new bylaw Monday to outlaw lighting up at all parks and beaches in the city.
The ban follows a pilot project launched last summer that banned smoking in six parks and playgrounds, which Coun. Mary Martin says got "huge support" the community.
Second hand smoke is a serious health issue, Martin said, "particularly for seniors and our youths."
Surrey's current law restricts smoking within 7.5 metres of doors, windows, air intakes and patios. Smokers are also banned from smoking in vehicles with minors.
If passed, the new ban will carry a fine of $200, $50 less than Vancouver's fine for first-time offenders.
Vancouver park board commissioner Raj Hundal applauded Surrey for jumping on board, saying his city's ban has been a success since being implemented last September.
"I think the message is getting out there," he said. "The public is listening to the bylaws that are in place."
But he admitted there are parks and beaches without any signage mentioning the ban, and CTV News had no trouble finding smokers at Kits Beach and English Bay.
Hundal said proper signage is on the way, and will eventually be present in every park and beach in the city.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson