Just as patio season gets into full swing, one Regina bar is marking ‘World No Tobacco Day’ by announcing a permanent ban on smoking on the patio.
Kurtis Tokarchuk is the manager for O’Hanlon’s Irish Pub and he says it comes down to the health issue for patrons and workers.
“We decided to have a sit-down meeting with all of our staff – and a majority of them are actually smokers – and we put it to a vote and unanimously voted that we wanted to start having a smoke-free patio to enjoy the summer,” he told the CJME Morning Show.
While the decision to go smoke-free is up to individual bar and restaurant owners, Tokarchuk said he would support a city bylaw against smoking in public places like patios.
Smoking on patios is already banned in six provinces across Canada and Quebec will have a ban in place by the end of this week. Saskatchewan and Manitoba have no bylaws against smoking on patios and in B.C. smoking is only allowed on patios that are not “substantially closed”. Saskatoon introduced its own bylaw against smoking on patios 12 years ago.
Mayor Michael Fougere also weighed in on the issue during his weekly interview on the CJME Morning Show.
Right now there are no city bylaws against smoking on patios or in public parks in Regina.
“At some point council will have to address the issue, but it’s good to see that we see businesses on their own volition doing it themselves,” he said.
Several other bars and restaurants in the city have already banned smoking on patios including Beer Bros downtown.
Fougere said right now it’s up to the private sector businesses to make that decision.
He explained that Regina city council is waiting for the province to step up to ban smoking on patios rather than leaving it up to municipalities to create a patchwork of bylaws.