Map showing Metro Vancouver regional parks.

Metro Vancouver bans on smoking in regional parks

Designated smoke pits to be set up in high-use areas



Metro Vancouver will impose a ban on smoking in almost all areas of its regional parks.

Friday’s board vote passed by a wide margin, with Surrey and Vancouver directors in favour.

It outlaws smoking throughout Metro-run parks, trails and beaches – except where designated smoking areas are set up and signed.

Those smoke pits are to be set up in heavily used areas where people spend large amounts of time – such as beaches, shelters, reservable buildings and campsites.

A last-minute attempt to water down the smoking restrictions failed.

Electoral director Maria Harris proposed an amendment that would have prohibited smoking in only congested areas of Metro parks, leaving smokers free to puff in large swathes.

Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin, chair of the parks committee, supported the change, saying smokers are “an easy target” for the politically correct but a more “common sense” approach is needed.

Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer was among those who voted to defeat the change, calling it a compromise of a compromise.

“There is no inherent right to smoke in a public place,” she said.

“The time has come,” added Pitt Meadows Mayor Don MacLean. “I just spent time in Whistler and every one of their parks is smoke-free.”

Richmond Coun. Harold Steves said smokers are now so scarce they pose less risk through second-hand smoke than in the past.

He questioned how a “little whiff of smoke along a trail” could do much harm.

Posting signs and other printed information on the policy would cost the region up to $23,000.

A Metro staff report estimated only 10 to 15 per cent of park-goers smoke and that most would likely voluntarily comply with the new restrictions without any extra spending on enforcement.

Parks officers will be able to issue fines but the focus will be on educating smokers of the ban.

Smoking zones are to be designated only where there is little risk of second-hand smoke exposure to others, smoking litter is contained and there is no risk of fire starts.

Wreck Beach Preservation Society vice-chair Judy Williams opposed the smoking ban, calling it “the last nail in the coffin” of smokers’ rights.

“People should have the choice,” she said.

Several cities across the region either partly or fully ban smoking in their municipal parks.

The planned policy affects regional parks like Tynehead, Campbell Valley, Lynn Headwaters and Belcarra regional parks, as well as some beaches, such as Centennial Beach at Boundary Bay and Sasamat Lake.

Just Posted

TONIGHT: Eagle Eyes to headline Concerts for the Pier in White Rock

East Beach event to feature The Fab Fourever

Mother’s death causes singer to cancel Surrey Fusion Festival performance

Revised schedule released with Mankirt Aulakh replacing Sharry Mann

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

Three from Surrey inducted into Softball Canada Hall of Fame

Greg Timm, Melanie Matthews and Christman Lee part of 2019 induction class

Toilet, bathtub among junk dumped behind Scott Road thrift store, costing operators money

‘I wish people would appreciate what we do, and not dump their stuff,’ frustrated manager says

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read

l -->