Province banning drug possession near playgrounds and water parks

No drugs near playgrounds

The provincial government is making it illegal for anyone to be in possession of drugs within close proximity of playgrounds, spray pools, wading pools and skate parks.

The province announced Thursday morning it has received permission from the feds to enact the ban.

Effective next Monday, Sept. 18, the possession of illicit drugs will be banned within 15 metres of any play structure in a playground, a spray or wading pool, or a skate park.

The announcement would be welcome news to Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas who has been urging the province to exclude parks from drug decriminalization rules that took effect this year.

B.C. had made a request to Health Canada for an amendment to the decriminalization policy to add these spaces to existing exclusions on possession, including on the premises of K-12 schools and licensed child care facilities.

"Our government is committed to breaking down barriers and connecting people to the supports they need," said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C.'s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

"We requested this amendment from Health Canada to ensure that families feel safe in their community while continuing to use every tool available to fight the toxic-drug crisis and save lives."

The government says it plans to introduce legislation in the fall to further regulate public drug use.

More BC News