City can’t ban smoking in private clubs

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

I would like to take this opportunity to address a letter in the March 14 Nunatsiaq News regarding Iqaluit’s recently passed smoking bylaw.

The writer wonders why the city has chosen not to ban smoking in bars and establishments that allow access only to individuals over the age of 18.

While it is council’s intent to protect the health and safety of all residents, the city (under the territorial jurisdiction of Nunavut’s Cities, Towns and Villages Act) does not have the legal authority to impose its bylaws inside private clubs.

Because half of Iqaluit’s drinking establishments are private clubs, the city has decided to go the “under 18” route so as to maintain an even playing field for local bar owners.

Council is hopeful that the territorial government will pass its own anti-smoking legislation, as well as make amendments to the CTV Act, to extend municipal jurisdiction to private clubs.

John Matthews
Mayor of Iqaluit

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