Provincial legislation could halt smoking on patios
Published Monday, April 21, 2014 6:31PM EDT
As temperatures rise, patios are open for business, but could this be the last year smokers can light up at their favourite watering hole?
If a proposed provincial law passes, many of the patrons who most frequent London's patios will be told to butt out.
The law was introduced last fall and bans smoking on playgrounds, sports fields and patios.
Gail Verweel of the Wortley Roadhouse says "I wish they would leave us alone and leave it up to the people. You know, it is the patio, it's outside. We're going to lose again."
Verweel has been down this road before. In 2006 smoking was banned indoors and she says "We lost a lot of money. It was overnight that we lost a regular bar clientele."
Reaction among non-smokers is mixed. Some seek patios where it is already banned, while others say they don't mind.
But smokers see patios as their last sanctuary, one of the few places they can still light up.
Still, the law hasn't passed through all the necessary hurdles yet.
The legislation has to go through third reading, and while it appears to have support from politicians of all stripes, if there's a spring election, the bill will die on the floor and the whole process will start all over again.
If it passes, the patio smoking ban is expected to come into effect on Jan. 1st, 2015.