Bylaw to ban shisha lounges one step closer to passing
The bylaw amendment that would make smoking shisha inside a restaurant or bar illegal was discussed by Edmonton City Council again Tuesday.
The amendment adds water pipes to the bylaw banning smoking inside public places.
Council passed two of the three readings of the bylaw. Jon Dziadyk was the only councilor to vote against the change.
Dziadyk spoke to CTV News Edmonton about his opposition to the change on July 4.
"I think that in a city of a million people we should have establishments like this," Dziadyk said. "If you don’t smoke shisha don’t go to these places."
For most of council, the decision comes down to health. The Canadian Cancer Society and others say shisha smoke negatively impacts the health of customers and staff.
Councillor Scott McKeen told CTV News Edmonton that shisha should have been included in the smoking bylaw when it was first passed, more than a decade ago.
"This is leveling the playing field appropriately, and is fair to all those businesses years ago who were fearful that they were going to lose customers over the smoking issue," McKeen said.
A ban on shisha could also be bad news for another business model, before it even gets started.
Cannabis lounges were considered by some to be a natural result of marijuana legalization. That now seems highly unlikely, according to Mayor Don Iveson.
"You can read the tea leaves as to which way we’ll be going around any sort of indoor consumption of cannabis in a smokable form," he said.
Third reading and the final vote will happen in August, and the change will come into effect July 1, 2020.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson