Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Smoke Free Calgary 2007?

From my Alderman:

Hello everyone,

On Monday, 2006 July 17, Council will consider a Notice of Motion that I've brought forward together with Aldermen Hawkesworth, Burrows, King, Farrell, and Ceci to amend Calgary's current Smoking Bylaw 00M92 to make all public places smoke free by January 1, 2007. In order for this to happen, we will require the majority of Council to agree, that is, we require two more votes.

I encourage you to share this email with your friends and colleagues and have them contact their Alderman asking that they vote yes. I've posted the Notice of Motion on my website, www.aldermandiane.ca; click on 'Priorities', then 'Smoking'. I've also posted an on-line poll that I encourage you and yours to participate in as I would like to share the results with Council on Monday.

Again, I would like to thank you for all of your support in this very important public health issue.



Diane Colley-Urquhart
Alderman, Ward 13

What she doesn't say is this would move a Smoke Free Calgary one year closer, from 2008 to 2007. I'm all for that.

- Peace


Anonymous said...

Argh, I don't know. I'm all for people not smoking but something about banning smoking from all public places seems draconian. I think it is fair enough to ban it from places where minors can be, but ALL public places? I guess I think, it's fine how it is now. If you go to a family restaurant, there is no smoking. If you go to a bar, there is. What's the problem?

Or maybe I don't understand it.

Anonymous said...

Erm, the anonymous above was me!!

Richard said...

The problem with smoke in bars is that the employees get exposed to enough second-hand to cause cancer.

Many would say "well, then don't work there" but after many deaths in coal-mines that sort of thinking was rejected. People decided that employers had a responsibility towards its employees health at the workplace (even if employees consented to unsafe conditions) and the state had the power and responsibility to force employers to comply.

This idea of "it does not matter if you consent, the government will disallow it" has precedent in the Old Testament. For example, if you fell on hard times and "sold your land" or "became a slave" the government said in advance that the agreement only lasted until the sabbath year (land) or the Jubilee year (slaves).

Similarly for "working on the Sabbath". Requiring your servants to work on the Sabbath was punishable by death rather than telling servants to "work for a different master".

~m said...

wait, so, if i have a guest over and he wants to smoke, i can't even tell him to do it outside? or would my backyard/balcony/front porch (if i had one . . . if i had a place to live) be fair game?

Richard said...

Hopefully, I'm no expert in the Law but I would assume that a balcony/backyard/front porch would count as "not public" and so it would be ok.

Now if you had an apartment with no balcony and didn't want smoking in the apartment, I guess your friend would be out of luck because the lobby or outside the front door would probably be considered public.

Linea said...

Certainly if Saskatchewan can do it Alberta can follow in our footsteps. Or do Albertan's have slightly redder necks that our smokers? :)

Hope it gets passed. This is a big health issue for many who have to inhale second hand smoke. It also encourages people to rethink their smoking habit

Richard said...

I wonder if this will reduce smoking done at bus/train stops. That's where I get most of my second hand smoke.

Unknown said...

have they voted yet? When will we know the result? Where can we find out the earliest?
BTW smoking will only be banned in public premises, I don't think sidewalks and parks are included.
From http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/bu/animalservices/smoking_brochure_final1.pdf
Effective January 1, 2008 all public premises will be smoke-free.
• Public premises include restaurants, bars, community associations, recreational facilities, entertainment establishments, bingo halls, casinos, taxis, hospitals and educational institutions.
• “Public premises” means any place to which the public may have either expressed or implied access
for the purpose of worship, entertainment, recreation, business, amusement, education,
transportation, consumption of food or drink, or for the provision and receipt of services.

Dave King said...

Kate I haven't heard yet, have sent an email asking what happened.

- Peace

Anonymous said...

Richard: I didn't really think about the employee side of this issue, and while I do myself tend towards the "if you don't like it then work somewhere else" line of thinking I can see a lot of merit in your view.

But I don't agree that this line of thinking has been discredited at all. I see it as one that a person should as much as possible take responsibility for their own situation. Isn't it precicely when workers are the most resigned and lacking in motivation to change their situation that they are the most easily exploited? Marx argues that it's in the worker's interest to band together to press for higher wages or better working conditions. Duh! Of course it is. But this itself is exactly one way that people can act responsibly.

A stronger moral stand is to work to empower people to make choices for themselves, not to simply protect them by removing ones that some believe to be "poor". Is it really such a stretch that legislation like this might result in reduced business for pubs, and so leave unemployed those who previously enjoyed their jobs?

A lot of jobs are hazardous either in the short or in the long term.

Yes, it is reasonable to have health and safety guidelines that employers are supposed to meet, but ultimately the onus is going to be on the acting parties, NOT the government, to make these kinds of decisions for themselves.

Anyhow, what a can of worms!