The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is moving ahead with smoking bylaw updates, which will create more smoke-free areas in Whistler.
With the bylaw updates the Valley Trail, Village Stroll and all public plaza areas will be designated as non-smoking areas; the non-smoking perimeter buffer around buildings will extended from six to 10 metres; and a 25-metre smoke-free buffer will also include playgrounds, playing fields, beaches, food concessions, picnic areas, skateboard parks, and parks.
“Whistler is known for its clean mountain air and natural environment, and this updated bylaw will help to protect this” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “The proposed bylaw includes some housekeeping updates for clarity, and the inclusion of the Valley Trail and parks is consistent with smoking regulations in other jurisdictions in British Columbia and across Canada.”
Proposed smoking regulation
The updated bylaw will prohibit smoking:
- in or within 10 metres of the perimeter of an outdoor customer service area;
- within a 10-metre buffer below any opening into a building, including a door or window that opens or air intake;
- in a park or on the Valley Trail; and
- in all public plaza areas (e.g. Town Square, Village Common, Village Square and Mountain Square) or on the Village Stroll.
In addition, smoking is prohibited in parks and on other public property including in or within 25 metres of:
Smoking includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah pipes, vaping devices, e-cigarette and other lighted or activated electronic smoking devices that burn or vaporize tobacco, cannabis or other weeds or substances.
The municipality’s goal is voluntary compliance with the smoking regulation bylaw, however, Bylaw Officers may issue a ticket of $200 for smoking in an area prohibited by Whistler’s smoking bylaw.
Bylaw enforcement will include targeted education; signage; rotating Bylaw Officer presence in the Village and community and on the Valley Trail; and increased ticketing and enforcement when the fire danger rating is high or extreme.
The proposed bylaw updates have been endorsed by Vancouver Coastal Health, and will be provided to the Minister of Health for consultation before adoption.
Smoking cannabis in public
The federal government’s recently-enacted Cannabis Act will make it legal for adults in Canada to possess, grow or use cannabis for recreational purposes on October 17, 2018.
The RMOW’s priorities with respect to cannabis legalization are the health and safety of community members and visitors, as well as the resort experience. Once legal, provincial law and the RMOW smoking bylaw will regulate smoking cannabis in public. Find information including answers to frequently asked questions at whistler.ca/cannabis.