Cancer Society calls out civic election candidates on by-laws
From spraying pesticides on lawns to smoking at restaurant patios and playgrounds, the Canadian Cancer Society is reminding people that your next city council has the power to ban those activities.
“It is often a municipality that will be the first out of the gates to adopt a public health policy like an outdoor smoking ban or a cosmetic pesticide ban,” explained Donna Pasiechnik with the Cancer Society in Regina.
They sent a survey to each candidate in the civic election asking where they stand on outdoor smoking bans for restaurant patios, sports fields and playgrounds. The survey also asked whether or not each candidate would reconsider a ban on cosmetic pesticide use.
Pasiechnik says about half of the candidates responded to the survey and they posted all the results online at www.voteforhealthsk.ca/regina. You can check the specific comments for each candidate by clicking on the pen and paper icon beside the vote.
“We’re hoping voters will take a look at what the candidates had to say and will vote accordingly,” she said.
Five out of nine mayoral candidates responded to the survey. Marian Donnelly, Meka Okochi and Jim Elliott were in favour of stricter public smoking rules and banning pesticides.
Michael Fougere voted no on the issue of a pesticide ban, writing that he supports the current city policy that emphasizes education. As for any outdoor public smoking bans, he was undecided.
“Before any changes are made to the City of Regina bylaws, there would need to be public consultations to evaluate what changes, if any, should be made,” he wrote in the comment section.
In his comments Okochi clarified that any pesticide ban should start with public city-owned property with an educational component to extend to private property.
Donnelly wrote that she supports a full ban on cosmetic pesticide use and was disappointed when a similar bylaw was passed over by the current council.
“There are options for weed control that do not include cancer causing agents like chemically based pesticides. We can and should do better,” she wrote.
Jim Elliot fully supported all smoking bans and wrote that a pesticide ban should be implemented over five years.
Chad Novak was in favour of some smoking bans including patios and parks, but he was undecided on the idea of a pesticide ban.
The other three candidates did not return the survey.