By Kevin J Sabo For the Advance
The residents of Castor have been asked for feedback when it comes to bylaw enforcement and smoking in town.
In a survey conducted by the town between Jan. 18 and Jan. 31, the Town asked residents to fill out a simple four question survey online regarding an in-development Smoking Bylaw, and thoughts on bylaw enforcement.
The first question read, “Would you like to see the radius of Smoke Free Zones increase from 3 metres to 5 metres?” The response to the question was a simple yes or no answer, along with the opportunity to comment. Of the respondents who answered, 59 per cent voted in favour of expanding the smoke-free around entrances. Comments surrounding the first question varied. Examples were:
“People don’t follow this as is, so maybe if it were increased they would actually move the three metres,”
“That way the smoke is not going to drift in and smokers won’t be blocking the doors.”
Question 2 involved bylaw enforcement in Castor, and whether it was adequately being handled by the town.
Forty per cent of the respondents indicated that the town needs to do a better job enforcing bylaws, while another 20 per cent indicated that the there is no need to increase bylaw enforcement.
The hiring of a bylaw officer was also floated in the question as well, with 21 per cent indicating that the town could not afford a bylaw officer.
The third question in the survey focused on the town’s treatment of cannabis and asked “Should the use of cannabis be treated the same as cigarette smoking OR the same as alcohol?”
Of those who responded to the question 55 per cent indicated that cannabis should be treated the same as alcohol, 18 per cent indicated it should be treated the same as cigarettes, 8 per cent indicated that cannabis should have elements of both cigarettes and alcohol, and 1 per cent of the survey indicated that they would prefer other treatment of cannabis.
Finally, the lengthy final question asked about the town’s treatment of public spaces whether the respondent, “Would favour or oppose a town bylaw that would ban smoking (of any kind) in all public places including outdoor public spaces (such as parks, pool, playground and ball diamonds. The residents who responded to this question were near equally divided, with 52 per cent of respondents agreeing with a full smoking ban.
In total 69 people responded to the online survey. There was no data provided on how many of the respondents were smokers or not.
“There were no surprises with the survey,” said Castor Rec. Director Natasha Bozek. “We saw that people want to see the bylaws enforced more, but don’t want to pay for it.”
Council did not discuss the survey results during the Feb. 11 council meeting, and the results were filed for information.