Listen Live

HomeThe LakelandCold LakeCold Lake council advances Smoking Bylaw amendment to accommodate Indigenous ceremonies

Cold Lake council advances Smoking Bylaw amendment to accommodate Indigenous ceremonies

At the latest regular meeting of the city of Cold Lake council, discussions once again centered around amending the city’s smoking bylaw to accommodate Indigenous ceremonial practices.  


Kristi Isert, the general manager of corporate services for the city of Cold Lake, spearheaded the presentation, stressing the importance of aligning municipal regulations with provincial legislation concerning the use of smoke products in Indigenous ceremonies.  


Isert commenced the presentation by summarizing discussions from the March 19 Corporate Priorities Committee meeting, where members were briefed on the existing smoking bylaw and exemptions provided under provincial law. The proposed amendment, Bylaw 835-PL24, aimed to permit smoking for Indigenous ceremonial purpose within the city limits.  


Delving into the specifics of the proposed amendment, Isert highlighted the inclusion of definitions for ceremonial practices such as smudging and traditional pipe ceremonies, alongside an exemption clause for Indigenous individuals participating in such activities.  

- Advertisement -


“Definitions for smudging and traditional pipe ceremonies would be included in the bylaw, as well as an exemption, which would state that the right of Indigenous people respecting traditional Indigenous spiritual or cultural practices of ceremony are exempt from the bylaw and include such practices as the traditional pipe ceremony or smudging,” Isert said.  


Isert emphasized that the exemption would solely extend to active participants in the ceremonies, excluding spectators or onlookers. She also outlined procedural requirements for utilizing the exemption, including providing written notice to the Chief Administrative Officer or designated personnel at least 24 hours in advance.  


“At least 24 hours prior to the use of smoke under the exemption, the written request would be provided to the CAO or designate who would confirm the specific location was appropriate for use, to permit time to notify other users of the facility, disable smoke detectors, sprinklers and or ventilation systems, and provide access to a fire extinguisher, if requires,” Isert detailed.  


Suggesting the possibility of a public hearing before finalizing the bylaw, Isert prompted council members for their input. Coun. Chris Vining raised questions about the necessity of such a hearing, indicating that existing provisions adequately address concerns, thus minimizing the need for further public input.  


“I think the bylaw lays it out fairly clearly,” Vinning stated, underscoring the inclusion of notice being given. Proposing to proceed with the first reading of the amendment, Vinning expressed openness to revisiting the matter for subsequent readings if necessary.  


Vinning made a motion for the first reading of the bylaw, which passed. The bylaw is slated to return to a future meeting for second and third readings, marking a step forward in accommodating Indigenous ceremonial practices within the Cold Lake community.  

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading