A motion passed by Swift Current city council will make it costly for an individual caught using tobacco or vaping products on school property moving forward.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to swiftly update their smoking bylaw, which was created in 1985, by waiving notice of motion and carrying out three readings to enact the changes immediately. 

Anyone busted by an RCMP member for breaching this bylaw will be handed a violation notice from the City with the first-time offence costing $150 and a second offence within 12 months will be $300. Defacing a sign will carry a $500 fine and double if caught again within a year.

The change aligns the City with new provincial regulations that were rolled out on Feb. 1.

"We want to make sure that it's enforceable and we want to make sure that it protects not only the residents but the children that are attending the school as well," Swift Current's city clerk Jackie Schlamp said.

The uniquely quick approval from the City came on the heels of the most recent Governance & Priorities Committee meeting on Feb. 14 where city councillor Leanne Tuntland-Wiebe called for quick action on this matter.

Schlamp spent the last several weeks researching the changes and how to implement them for the City. Her stack of documents included looking at nine different communities that had smoking bylaws. 

"Ours were outdated and obsolete," she said. "When we had Staff Sergeant Gordon and Const. Tony Curti doing a presentation, and it was recorded that our bylaws are so old that we needed to revisit them. In addition to the Government of Saskatchewan's further restrictions, we have now enacted a new bylaw that mirrors up-to-date legislation."

Before bringing the final changes to council on Tuesday, she also met with the City's lawyer to vet bill 3-2024.

The bylaw can now be enforced by RCMP members but the City is hoping the next week will be used to prepare individuals for the penalties. 

"We can take the rest of this February to provide some educational pieces to the public," she said. "Let them know what is going to be a bylaw and enforceable within our community. Then come March 1 we will start full-on enforcement of it."