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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Student Smoking Problems Persist Near Walkerton District School

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

Brockton mayor hopeful public health will pass exemption from legislation that has prompted issues.

The updated Smoke Free Ontario Act legislation continues to cause headaches in Walkerton.

The problem involves the 20 meter smoking ban from all school property. 

Student smoking, loitering and litter remains a contentious issue for the residents to Fischer Dairy Road, a residential subdivision not far from the Walkerton District Community School.

After earlier complaints and media attention this Fall, Mayor Chris Peabody says there was an unofficial truce, a compromise of sorts.

Students stopped smoking along the subdivision and instead smoked on a section of school property away from the school doors and out of site of the neighbouring elementary school.

However, Peabody says something has happened recently and the truce has ended.

Peabody suspects it has something to do with the Public Health Unit policing the 20 meter smoking ban imposed by the Province's updated Smoke Free Ontario Act.

Whatever the case, students have been forced off school property and are again smoking along the Fischer Dairy Road subdivision.

With the students says Peabody comes the litter which is upsetting local residents.

Peabody is bringing forth a motion at the upcoming November Grey Bruce Public Health meeting requesting an exemption from the 20 meter smoking ban for students at the Walkerton District Community School.

Peabody who also sits as a Director for the Public Health Unit says if his motion fails, he will try to enlist the help of Huron Bruce MPP and Ontario Minister of Government and Consumer Services Lisa Thompson.

Peabody hopes it won't come to that, admitting it seems silly to take this matter to a Cabinet Minister, but says he will if he has to.

After all, Peabody notes it is the Province that has created this problem with the well-meaning updated legislation, he says perhaps the Province will be able to help come up with a solution as well.

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