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New Anti-Smoking Bill Targets Workplaces and Public Spaces

By Yosie Saint-Cyr, Editor at HRinfodesk---Canadian Payroll and Employment Law, Updated July 2005 (posted May 2005)

On May 10, 2005, the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services tabled Bill 112, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and other legislative provisions, which aims to prohibit and restrict smoking in places where smoking was, until now allowed. Specifically, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places and workplaces, and all existing designated smoking rooms will have to be closed down. On June 17, 2005, Bill 112 received Royal Assent and will come into force on May 31, 2006 with exceptions (see below). Employers should start developing an agenda for effective compliance with the new requirements.

Specifically, smoking is prohibited:

  • In enclosed spaces where the activities held are reserved for persons invited or authorized to attend by the host
  • In tents
  • Under big tops
  • In shelters and other similar facilities that are open to the public
  • On school grounds
  • Within 9 meters from any exterior door leading to a facility of a health and social services institution, to a building of a general and vocational college or a university or to a facility of a childcare centre
  • In pubs, restaurants, taverns, bars and bingo halls

The Bill further prohibits smoking in all or part of outdoor premises situated in its provincial territory during a festival, a celebration, a sports, cultural or social event or any other similar activity intended for the public. A local municipality may make, amend or repeal by-laws to prohibit smoking in all or part of outdoor premises situated in its territory during a festival, a celebration, a sports, cultural or social event or any other similar activity intended for the public.

In addition, it will no longer be possible for smoking areas to be designated in such places as restaurants, the common areas of shopping centers, the gaming areas of government-owned casinos, amusement halls, marine passenger terminals, bus stations and railway passenger stations.

If enacted, this Bill comes into force on January 1, 2006, except for paragraph 3 of section 2.1 of the Tobacco Act, enacted by section 4, and section 21, which comes into force on September 1, 2006. These dates have been modified somewhat, Bill 112, will come into force on May 31, 2006 with exceptions. Sections 65, 67 and 68 come into force January 1, 2006. Sections 20, 20.1 and sections 49 and 49.1 come into force on June 16, 2006. Section 2.1 paragraph 3 and section 17.1 come into force September 1, 2006. Finally, Division II of Chapter III come into force on May 31, 2008.

Link to a copy of Bill 112 as enacted by government.

By Yosie Saint-Cyr, Editor at HRinfodesk

Published on HRinfodesk---Canadian Payroll and Employment Law

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