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Bridgewater honoured for smoke-free stance

by Keith Corcoran

 COUNTY - Bridgewater's soon-to-be-enacted smoking ban has earned the South Shore's largest town an award from one of the lobby groups that urged it on.

 Smoke Free Nova Scotia honoured the town last week.

 "It's a recognition for the town for what they call progressive anti-smoking legislation," said Mayor Carroll Publicover, who accepted the award June 19 on the town's behalf.

 Smoke Free Nova Scotia president Sharon McIntosh made the presentation to the mayor at an Enfield hotel during the organization's annual general meeting.

 Bridgewater passed a Protection from Second-hand Smoke Bylaw on March 25, which outlaws smoking on town-owned land and properties it is licenced to maintain. The ban also extends to streets and sidewalks along a parade route while a parade is in progress and within a school zone.

 The legislation becomes law on September 1. Mayor Publicover said last week that he and the rest of council is expecting additional information first.

 "We had a motion passed that we would get from staff a plan for how they're going to implement it and what the strategy is for enforcement and so on," he said.

 Bridgewater's bylaw didn't pass without some opposition - and tweaking.

 Two Lunenburg County residents organized single-day protests last December on the town's two main bridges when the town proposed a tobacco ban on provincially owned bridges and all town-owned streets and sidewalks. The town later backed off that plan.

 Then, in an amended draft bylaw, the town was going to include exhibitions, which raised the ire of those who help organize the annual Big Ex. The town later determined exhibitions would be free from the legislation.

 The Town of Wolfville, which last fall passed a Smoke-Free Vehicles Bylaw to protect children and youth under 19 from the effects of second-hand smoke in vehicles, also received an excellence award.



posted on 06/24/08
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