There they were. 14 years later, the People for a Smoke Free Moose Jaw, appearing at a city council meeting. They were there to show support for the push for updates to the local smoking bylaw. This time, however, the local group isn't likely to have much opposition.
You may recall the controversy back in 2003. A number of local business owners didn't want the smoking ban in indoor, public places. We voted in favour of the ban in a referendum.
We were ahead of the times then but falling behind now. The proposed changes will take into consideration e-cigarettes, vaping and marijuana smoking, which is soon to be lifted from the criminal code. The plan is to ban smoking in our outdoor, public spaces.
It struck me last night as I listened to community leaders and their support for the changes, when I first started attending council meetings in 1986, media row was cordially equipped with coffee, water and ashtrays for our smoking enjoyment. Councilors could smoke and the folks in the gallery, too. In fact, some of them didn't bother with ashtrays - they'd just butt 'em out on the tile floor in council chambers.
We've come a long way.