Winkler takes on smokers and vapers

Vaping File photo/Postmedia Network

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The City of Winkler is cracking down on smoking around areas where children are present.
By-Law 2236-19 went through first reading at the City Council meeting on May 28, and will still have to pass second and third reading at a later date.
That by-law amends Winkler’s Smoking By-Law (2215-18) to ban smoking within 15 metres of swimming pools, wading pools or spray pads operated by the city, smoking or vaping within 15 metres of athletic fields or hockey rinks operated by the city and smoking or vaping on city owned playgrounds or skate parks.
“The concern has been expressed with some public places, especially where youth hang out, whether it’s sports fields or whether it’s the skate park, where smoking or vaping has been taking place and wasn’t covered in the by-law,” mayor Martin Harder said. “There will be some hefty fines… so beware. It’s coming.”
Harder said the by-law will be posted properly and said he hopes the community will respect it.
By-Law 2235-19, which regulates the operation of off-road vehicles within the city limits, also passed at the city council meeting.
Harder said the city has done a lot of research about the use of off-road vehicles and whether or not they should be permitted the same freedoms within the city as snowmobiles.
“We checked with our police department and the police department was concerned and warned us against it because of the number of vehicles that would be involved,” he said. “They recommended against it, and there are no other urban centres where they are allowed, so council decided we are not going to allow them.”
The by-law also changed the speed limit of snowmobiles from 10 km/h to 30 km/h when operating on the shoulder of a highway.
“If you’ve ever driven on a snowmobile lately, you can’t even get it to move if it’s only going 10 kilometres per hour,” Harder said. “It was no longer relevant, and so that’s why we thought we would change it to 30 kilometres an hour.”