Craig Bakay | Apr 17, 2019
At first glance, the smoking bylaw North Frontenac Council passed at its regular meeting last Friday in Plevna seemed a lot more ominous than it actually turns out to be.
For example, one section contains the phrase: “No person shall, smoke or vape within 20 metres of any point on the perimeter of the outdoor grounds of a community recreational facility and public areas.”
Now if you interpret that to mean the property lines of Township facilities, you might conclude that the bylaw extends into private property. For example, in the case of Barrie Hall, that would mean extending across Hwy 41, into Addington Highlands Township and onto the home of Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg. It would also mean that in some cases, it would extend into Crown Lands (for example some boat launches).
But that’s not the intension, Clerk/Planning Manager Tara Mieske said Tuesday in an interview.
“It only pertains to Township-owned facilities and property,” she said. “The bylaw was updated to come into line with the updated Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which now includes cannabis and the bylaw is designed to reflect that.”
This means smoking is restricted to 9 metres from the entrance to a Township building and 20 metres from the ‘perimeter’ of a children’s playground, sporting area or recreational facility, but it doesn’t extend past the Township-owned property, she said.
“This includes the ballfield and tennis courts in Cloyne but not Township beaches and boat launches, or things that don’t have a roof like waste sites,” she said.
It also doesn’t include things like the Township garages and municipal office (although the 9 metres from the entrance still applies), she said.
Technically, the 20 metres doesn’t include fire halls but in some cases (notably Ompah and Snow Road) the fire halls are attached or adjacent to recreational halls and/or libraries where the 20-metre restriction does apply.
One other unclear aspect of the bylaw is what constitutes smoking.
“Smoke and Smoking includes carrying or holding of a lighted tobacco product, a lighted cannabis product, an activated electronic cigarette, or a lighted or heated water pipe,” would seem to prohibit the First Nation smudging ceremony, common at Powwows and other gatherings.
Mieske said that hadn’t been considered in the wording of the bylaw and she’d research the matter before bringing a report to Council.
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On March 26, Mayor Ron Higgins sent an email to Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith asking about Central’s plans to fix potholes on Road 509 and Ardoch Road.
“How’d you make out?” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry.
“You saw her response,” said Higgins.
“Although they did do some work,” said Coun. Gerry Martin.
“I didn’t agree with this action at all,” said Coun. John Inglis. “It was unnecessary and the tone wsas insulting.”
For the record, here are the two emails.
From Higgins to Smith:
“Frances, I was asked by Council to contact you about the road condition of 509 (near Ardoch Road) and 2-3 bad spots on Ardoch Road. We have been getting a number of residents asking if we knew what Central Frontenac was considering with regards to repair. They are concerned about vehicle damage due to bad road conditions.
“Would it be possible to provide us with any plans your Township has in regards to this issue?”
“Good morning Ron. I think it is the swamp on the flat that you are talking about. We are quite aware of it and as soon as the thaw permits, we will be dealing with it.”
• • •
With about a dozen members of the public in attendance at the meeting, Mayor Ron Higgins asked for a motion to move the public question period up on the agenda so that those members of the public who wished to could comment on the question of ANSIs (Area of Natural or Scientific Interest) in North Frontenac’s Zoning Bylaw could be heard.
Only Coun. Wayne Good voted against the measure.
Later in the meeting, Council voted to end the restriction that a public question period only be permitted if the Council meeting takes under three hours.
North’s meetings commonly exceed three hours. By comparison, Central and South meetings rarely exceed two hours and South has one or two meetings a year under a half hour.
• • •
In response to Kerry Skipper’s request for a Pickleball court in Cloyne, Coun. Fred Fowler challenged Dep. Mayor Fred Perry to the first game.
Fowler declined to offer Perry some sort of handicap even though Perry recently had surgery on his leg.
Pickleball is a racquet sport combining elements of badminton, tennis and ping pong using a whiffleball of some sort.