(October 9/18) On Oct. 15, Halifax will officially begin enforcing its new amendments to the municipality’s nuisance bylaw (By-Law N-300), which will ban all smoking on public property — including streets and sidewalks — except within specially designated smoking areas.

These areas will be designated with signs or stickers. Each sign/sticker will also indicate how far the designated smoking area extends for that location. Signs/stickers can be permanent or temporary; for example, smoking permitted locations for an event on municipal property.

Click here to learn more about how to request a designated smoking area marked by official municipal signs/stickers similar to the example below.

All smoking and vaping, including tobacco and cannabis use, will be treated the same. Anyone contravening the bylaw changes could face a fine between $25 and $2,000 per offence, and in default of payment, a maximum of 30 days in jail. A public awareness campaign is underway outlining what everyone needs to know to avoid penalties.

City hall had originally hoped the signage could be in place by Oct. 1, allowing a two-week adjustment period before cannabis is legal. But they deemed that self-imposed deadline was too ambitious.

Out of concern that certain businesses might be disadvantaged if not near a designated smoking area, Restaurants Canada met with municipal officials to ensure that the bylaw would not create an uneven playing field. They provided assurances that any bar or restaurant operator may request a designated smoking area, provided that they meet the specified clearance to entrances, open windows and air intakes.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can send an email to Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Atlantic Canada, at lerjavec@restaurantscanada.org.

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