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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Brockton Could Implement Bylaw To Address Concerns At Walkerton District School

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

Student smoking, loitering and littering has lead to conflict with nearby residents.

Brockton Council has not given up in its quest to find a solution to the student smoking situation in a residential area near the Walkerton District Community School. 

It’s been months and Councillor Steve Adams says Brockton is no closer to finding a solution regarding the student smoking, loitering and littering problem along Hinks Street and Fischer Dairy Road.

Adams says neither the Bluewater District School Board the Walkerton District Community School or the Grey-Bruce Public Health Unit have been able to come up with a suitable solution to the ongoing problem of loitering and safety concerns.

As such, Brockton has instructed staff to investigate implementing a local bylaw which will provide immediate relief for the affected residents.

Adams says this includes exploring what legal jurisdiction Brockton has in order to tackle the student smoking, loitering and littering situation.

It is speculated this could possibly mean determining if Brockton is able to implement its own smoking bylaw prohibiting smoking on certain municipally owned lands such as the sidewalk, municipal right of way and streets where students have been gathering to smoke.

The student smoking problem arose after the legalization of cannabis and changes were made to the Smoke Free Ontario Act prohibiting smoking within 20 meters of school property.

This 20-meter setback forced students off of the sidewalk in front of the school and into the residential neighbourhood of Hinks Street and Fischer Dairy Road.

Since that time residents have complained about student loitering, littering, trespassing and graffiti in their neighbourhood.

There have also been safety concerns raised over fear that when students have overflowed onto the street to smoke that they risk being hit by a car when roads are icy or slippery.

Adams says Brockton owes it to residents and to students to take any and all action to keep everyone safe.

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