Media Release: Smoke Free Bylaw Receives First Reading After Support Received from Annual Resident Survey

For Immediate Release:  July 11, 2018

At the Town of Stratford July Council meeting, Council approved 1st reading of the Smoke Free Bylaw. The bylaw builds on an existing smoke free policy which has been in place since September 2007 across Town owned properties.

“Through the annual Stratford Resident Survey, which has been released today, residents have indicated that they are supportive of a smoke free bylaw,” commented Stratford Mayor David Dunphy. “Resident engagement in all decision-making is vitally important to Council and staff and this year the survey was a great opportunity to inform our decision-making around this topic.”

The Smoke Free Bylaw was developed through the creation of a sub-committee of the Town’s Sustainability Committee and was made up of representatives from the Chief Public Health Office, Council for a Smoke Free PEI, residents, business owners, residential property owners, and Town of Stratford. The committee met regularly over the past eight months and researched best practices from other municipalities before bringing forward their proposed bylaw to the Sustainability Committee and, after receiving their support, to Council this evening.

In this year’s annual Resident Survey, residents were asked to indicate if they would support a smoke free bylaw for a variety of spaces in the town. In all instances over half of all respondents indicated they would support smoke free spaces. The areas currently with policies or provincial legislation, which include Town trails, buffer zones around Town recreation areas and common areas of multi-unit dwellings, had the highest levels of support.  Areas currently not covered by municipal policy or provincial legislation were also supported by over half of residents. This included beaches and beach access areas (67%), buffer zones around privately-owned facilities (62%), parking lots of privately owned facilities (54%) and balconies and decks of multi-unit dwellings (54%).

The Smoke Free Bylaw will be read a second time at the August 8th council meeting before coming into effect. If approved, it will include not only cigarettes but also electronic smoking devices and any other instrument used or intended for use to smoke tobacco or other products including marijuana. The bylaw will apply to all Town properties which includes the land around buildings such as Stratford Town Centre and the Robert L. Cotton Centre; sports fields, parks and playgrounds including their parking lots; and trail systems throughout the Town of Stratford. Because the resident support in the survey was not quite as strong, future consultation is planned with residents, commercial land owners and residential rental property owners to explore the possibility of further regulating smoking in privately owned outdoor spaces such as parking lots, golf courses, balconies/decks of multi-unit dwellings, and other public areas.

Also new this year in the annual survey, residents were asked about their experiences with services provided by the Town. Of the 48% who had contacted the Town of Stratford office in the last 12 months, 84% rated their experience as very or somewhat positive.

“Providing great customer service in all departments is a high priority for the Town,” shared Robert Hughes, Town of Stratford, Chief Administrative Officer. “Hearing directly from residents on their experiences gives us important feedback to make improvements where we are able to and to recognize where we are doing a good job already.”

The full report and summary of this year and previous surveys can be found on the Town of Stratford website.

 

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Media Contact:

Wendy Watts, Community Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (902) 569-1995
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

 

Printable Version: Media Release – Smoke Free Bylaw Receives First Reading (July 11, 2018)

Smoke Free Bylaw: Bylaw # 42 – Smoke Free Bylaw

Media Release: Smoke Free Bylaw Receives First Reading After Support Received from Annual Resident Survey

For Immediate Release:  July 11, 2018

At the Town of Stratford July Council meeting, Council approved 1st reading of the Smoke Free Bylaw. The bylaw builds on an existing smoke free policy which has been in place since September 2007 across Town owned properties.

“Through the annual Stratford Resident Survey, which has been released today, residents have indicated that they are supportive of a smoke free bylaw,” commented Stratford Mayor David Dunphy. “Resident engagement in all decision-making is vitally important to Council and staff and this year the survey was a great opportunity to inform our decision-making around this topic.”

The Smoke Free Bylaw was developed through the creation of a sub-committee of the Town’s Sustainability Committee and was made up of representatives from the Chief Public Health Office, Council for a Smoke Free PEI, residents, business owners, residential property owners, and Town of Stratford. The committee met regularly over the past eight months and researched best practices from other municipalities before bringing forward their proposed bylaw to the Sustainability Committee and, after receiving their support, to Council this evening.

In this year’s annual Resident Survey, residents were asked to indicate if they would support a smoke free bylaw for a variety of spaces in the town. In all instances over half of all respondents indicated they would support smoke free spaces. The areas currently with policies or provincial legislation, which include Town trails, buffer zones around Town recreation areas and common areas of multi-unit dwellings, had the highest levels of support.  Areas currently not covered by municipal policy or provincial legislation were also supported by over half of residents. This included beaches and beach access areas (67%), buffer zones around privately-owned facilities (62%), parking lots of privately owned facilities (54%) and balconies and decks of multi-unit dwellings (54%).

The Smoke Free Bylaw will be read a second time at the August 8th council meeting before coming into effect. If approved, it will include not only cigarettes but also electronic smoking devices and any other instrument used or intended for use to smoke tobacco or other products including marijuana. The bylaw will apply to all Town properties which includes the land around buildings such as Stratford Town Centre and the Robert L. Cotton Centre; sports fields, parks and playgrounds including their parking lots; and trail systems throughout the Town of Stratford. Because the resident support in the survey was not quite as strong, future consultation is planned with residents, commercial land owners and residential rental property owners to explore the possibility of further regulating smoking in privately owned outdoor spaces such as parking lots, golf courses, balconies/decks of multi-unit dwellings, and other public areas.

Also new this year in the annual survey, residents were asked about their experiences with services provided by the Town. Of the 48% who had contacted the Town of Stratford office in the last 12 months, 84% rated their experience as very or somewhat positive.

“Providing great customer service in all departments is a high priority for the Town,” shared Robert Hughes, Town of Stratford, Chief Administrative Officer. “Hearing directly from residents on their experiences gives us important feedback to make improvements where we are able to and to recognize where we are doing a good job already.”

The full report and summary of this year and previous surveys can be found on the Town of Stratford website.

 

-30-

Media Contact:

Wendy Watts, Community Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (902) 569-1995
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

 

Printable Version: Media Release – Smoke Free Bylaw Receives First Reading (July 11, 2018)

Smoke Free Bylaw: Bylaw # 42 – Smoke Free Bylaw

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