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'I don't see it coming together on time,' says Matt Whitman as residents wait to find out where they can smoke

Halifax Regional Municipality started taking applications on Friday for designated smoking areas where smoking will be allowed
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(stock photo)

With less than a week before bylaw amendments kick in banning the smoking or vaping of tobacco and cannabis on municipal property, residents and businesses are still wondering where people will be legally be allowed to light up.

Halifax Regional Municipality started taking applications on Friday for designated smoking areas where smoking will be allowed.

They expect to review each request within 10 business days and have said they will post an online map identifying those approved locations.

One regional councillor doesn't think HRM will be able to meet their deadline of Oct. 15, let alone the legalization date of Oct. 17.

"For us to even get signs installed before the 17th, and to get the blessing from businesses and do all the necessary footwork for the 17th, I just don't see it coming together on time," said Councillor Matt Whitman.

The Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets councillor said people in his district aren't as worried as the residents and businesses in the downtown area.

"Whenever there's a lack of information provided, people get concerned," he said. "For bars and restaurants in downtown Halifax, they're concerned they may get a smoking location and don't want it, or more likely, they won't get a smoking location and do want it."

"Having that smoking location I think will be a competitive advantage for a bar to have their customers able to smoke out front, versus having to go out and smoke in front of someone else's establishment."

Whitman, who voted against the bylaw amendments, is disappointed so far by how the whole thing is being rolled out.

"If we were doing it correctly, the other 50 municipalities in Nova Scotia would follow our lead."

HRM's original plan was to have the updated Nuisance and Smoking Bylaw to go into effect Oct 1. Last month that date was pushed back to Oct. 15.




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