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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Orillia Is Going Back To The No Smoking Drawing Board

Orillia | by Ian MacLennan  

Concern how sweeping by-law could impact tenants leasing city-owned property.

Orillia city council is going back to the no smoking drawing board.

Council committee gave tentative approval last week to a by-law to ban smoking outdoors on all city owned property including properties leased to a third party.

Call centre Nordia, which employs over 300 workers, and rents property on Hunter Valley Road, said in an email that the by-law could have a financial impact, as many of their workers smoke and they would have a long walk to the sidewalk for a 15-minute break,  possibly returning late,  as well as the high risk of injures to staff during winter, resulting in leave of absences.

City council approved a motion last night to solicit  feedback on the proposed by-law from municipal tenants regarding possible revisions as it applies to city owned or leased property.

Council will revisit the issue at its meeting March 4.

Councillor Pat Hehn pointed out the by-law would  impact workers at the Metro grocery store at 70 Front Street North,  property the city owns.

She said there is no place for them to have a designated smoking area around that building.

Hehn said the Orillia City Centre has a designated smoking area that is secluded,  but the proposed by-law would change that,  forcing smokers onto the sidewalk.

She asked "do we really want people coming to city hall to see people who work in the building congregated in front of city hall smoking?"

Councillor Tim Lauer felt council did not really think the proposed by-law through.

He said he didn't like the process of passing a blanket by-law and then making amendment after amendment.

The smoking ban would include cannabis, tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Affected properties would also include parking lots, trails, parks and the library.

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