Butt out bill is law

Anti-smoking legislation would have passed unanimously, but Liberal MLA Garry McRobb voted against Bill 104.

Anti-smoking legislation would have passed unanimously, but Liberal MLA Garry McRobb voted against Bill 104.

The law will adversely affect hotels and bars in his riding, especially Haines Junction, said McRobb.

He proposed a motion to allow bars to install ventilated smoking rooms, but it was defeated.

One year after New Democrat Leader Todd Hardy proposed the legislation, the bill passed.

It’s the first private members bill in recent memory to become law.

It bans smoking in all public places, puts restrictions on tobacco advertising and bans smoking in cars with passengers under the age of 18.

The smoking ban could be enforced as early as May 15, while the advertising restrictions will be phased in.

Initially, after an all-party committee took Bill 104 to public forums across the territory, the government opposed the legislation and said it would bring its own bill forward in the spring.

A sudden change of heart had the government offering the Justice department’s help to the NDP to tweak Bill 104 so it could be introduced in the spring session.

“When we can come together, it is a great moment for this territory — but it happens so few times,” said Hardy yesterday.

“It’s incumbent upon all of us to find more opportunities to do this. Frankly, I get sick and tired of this place. I can say that now because I’ve been here for a long time.

“It feels like a long time.”

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