Nadine Brousseau owns retail outlets in Victoria that sell e-cigarette products. The devices are widely available even though they are not authorized for sale in Canada.

Nadine Brousseau owns retail outlets in Victoria that sell e-cigarette products. The devices are widely available even though they are not authorized for sale in Canada.

E-cigs, party buses, ambulance response among issues for B.C. cities at UBCM

Regulation proposed for e-cigarettes, now used to defy public smoking bans

The growing popularity of “vaping” with electronic cigarettes instead of smoking tobacco is among the topics up for debate at next week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

Harrison Hot Springs has a resolution before the annual gathering of mayors and councillors that calls on the province to regulate the use and sale of e-cigarettes and similar vaporizers.

Health officials fear e-cigs are too easy for children to get and that, while they may reduce the damage of smoking for nicotine addicts, they act as a gateway into smoking for others.

The B.C. Healthy Living Alliance argues there’s inadequate research on health risks from toxins or potential nicotine poisoning from inhaling the vapours.

It wants the same restrictions on smoking and tobacco sales slapped on e-cigarettes, so they can’t be sold to minors, advertised or used in public places where smoking is banned.

Their use to defy public smoking bans risks unravelling a “powerful deterrent to tobacco use” and could “lead to renormalization,” says the alliance, whose members include UBCM, health authorities and other organizations.

It also recommends a ban on candy and fruit flavours that appeal to youth, enforced standards for the “e-juice” liquids and that e-cigarettes look different from traditional ones.

The battery-powered devices are also sometimes used to discreetly ingest cannabis instead of smoking marijuana.

Several other public safety issues are also before UBCM this year.

Resolutions from Vancouver and Maple Ridge call on the province to crack down on party buses, which have become notorious as rolling nightclubs for underage drinking.

The provincial government warned the industry last year to police itself or face tougher regulation after a 16-year-old youth died in Surrey after riding a party bus, but Vancouver’s motion says nothing has been done.

Lower Mainland cities are also jointly calling for the province to retool its latest reform of the B.C. Ambulance Service to create a new integrated emergency response service that includes firefighters.

They say their fire department first responder costs have climbed due to the provincial decision not to send ambulances speeding to as many calls with lights and sirens – a change that’s left many patients waiting much longer.

The province contends the downgrading of less urgent calls has enabled faster, priority response to the most serious emergencies.

Burnaby wants UBCM delegates to vote to oppose Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain oil pipeline twinning. The city is fighting the pipeline company’s attempts to access Burnaby parkland for route design.

Another Burnaby resolution would oppose Fraser Surrey Docks’ planned coal export terminal pending further independent assessment of coal dust health risks and formal public hearings.

The project was approved by Port Metro Vancouver last month and is expected to begin construction soon, despite substantial opposition.

Other issues on the agenda:

  • A call from Victoria for the province to share any gains in liquor tax it reaps through looser liquor policies to bolster liquor licence inspections, addiction treatment, policing and late night transit service.
  • A Maple Ridge call for the province to set up sobering centres for the severely intoxicated to reduce pressure on local first responders.
  • A call from New Westminster for Ottawa to accelerate the phase-out of older substandard tanker train cars and that they immediately be banned from carrying dangerous goods. The least crash resistant DOT-111 tankers – the type that exploded at Lac Megantic – have already been pulled from dangerous goods service. The federal government in April ordered the remaining ones used to haul crude oil and ethanol be phased out or upgraded within three years.

A Lower Mainland party bus as depicted on the operator’s Facebook page.

Just Posted

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

The intersection of Blueridge Drive and Blue Jay Street is one of three intersections in Abbotsford approved for traffic lights this year. (Google Street View)
Traffic signals approved at 3 Abbotsford intersections

Projects part of $1.45M in road upgrades around community

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read