80% of People Living in MUDs Want to Live SMoke-free Affair with Smoke-free Housing Alice: Narrating the personal Anna I am not going away not by a long shot. The smoke-free housing saga continues Answers to Frequently Asked Questions including Grandfathering Anti-smoking champ honoured for PUSH Any defensive discussion indefensible April Lifting the Veil off of Quiet Enjoyment Arabian COUGHING Poster At the Core of Smoke-Free Housing Workplace violence and bullying ATTRIBUTE REQUIRED TO SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISH BEING SMOKE-FREE AUTHORITIES for Smoke-free Housing BC HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL Decides Crescent Housing Societys Application To Dismiss Lacking in Substance Concreteness and Good Faith (Another Debacle) BC HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL hears first case on SHS in MUDs Monday April 2 – Wednesday April 4 2012 BREAKTHROUGH DECISION Smoke-Free Housing Cancer in non-smoker sparks legal action Australia CLEANING UP TOXIC ENVIRONMENTS COMMUNITY DISCUSSION FORM Comparing “big” and “too small to matter” crises and catastrophes Demand for non-smoking apartments next to impossible Do you struggle with the problem of drifting second-hand smoke in your home? What you can do looks like 2011 DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH THE PROBLEM OF SECONDHAND SMOKE DRIFT What Struggle Looks like Drewlo Holdings Building More Smoke-free Apartments DROs Ways to Strengthen a Bid for Smoke-free Housing Ethical Dilemma of Smoke-free Housing EX-SMOKERS ARE UNSTOPPABLE flash mob dance Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing Governance by Dysfunctional Boards How the Smoke-free Housing Initiative inadvertently opened up governance for public scrutiny Grandfathering How does it apply to smokers Grandfathering Smoke freely Grandfathering Smokes License to Smoke License for Abuse GROUNDHOG DAY PUSHing the Drift to Smoke-free Housing GROUNDHOG DAY 2012: Secondhand smoke from grandfathered smokers takes a wee hit How Provincial and Municipal Bylaws Apply for MUDs in BC HR DECISION ORDERS “METRO ONE” TO CEASE ITS DISCRIMINATION AND REFRAIN FROM COMMITTING A SIMILAR CONTRAVENTION IN THE FUTURE INJUNCTIVE RELIEF A court order to Do this and Stop doing that Inspiring story behind SMOKE-FREE CARS ACT 2007 knowledge exchange Krossa from Maple Ridge Dare Extend Ideation For Smoke-free Housing Lung cancer kills non-smoker McDaniels thank supporters Measuring second-hand smoke drift in non-smokers: Prove it Medical Marijuana NEWS ~ NEWS ~ NEWS London ON New Apartment Building Opts for Smoke-free and Utilizing Grants to Encourage Smoke-free Housing NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY YOUR TIME HAS COME NSRAs rebuttal of Harpers Gut of Federal Tobacco Control Program People imagining a smoke-free world Picture Worth a Thousand Words Premier Christy Clark announces Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) Sense and scent-ability: Do you smell second-hand smoke in your home? SHS Is Not Simply An Issue Between Neighbours Slaying the Myth of Right-To-Smoke and In-My-Home SMOKE DAMAGE - Voices from the Front Lines of Tobacco Wars Smoke-free at Last Smoke-free housing Litany of motivations and obstructions Smoke-free Housing: An award winning direction Standardize your letters and claims: Make them all the same Steps to Designating Smoking Area in Common Areas and Avoiding Misrepresentation STORIES: Heart of the Matter Strata concedes failure to accommodate McDaniels TENANTS' FUME IN SMOKE-FEST ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT COSTING THOUSANDS The 'In-Perpetuity' of National Non-Smoking Week Thinking Petition? Draft a report instead. Trials Against Big Tobacco Reveal Internal Documents Stating Lethal Hazard Of Smoking And Environmental Tobacco Smoke TRIBUNAL GRANTS COMPLAINANTS' APPLICATION TO AMEND THEIR COMPLAINT Tribunal's Decision Reveals DEBACLE Urging Political Will VEN TI-LA-TION – exchanging stale noxious air with clean fresh air Weitzels and Willow Park Estates What has California's new smoke-free housing law to do with us Canadians? What makes normal sensible people become dysfunctional when they join a board and what turns CEOs or EDs into mini-dictators? Why Isn't Vancouver's OLYMPIC VILLAGE A Flagship for Smoke-free Housing? Why there is a PUSH for Sf Housing WOW You've come a long way baby Yukon Housing Corp’s smoke-free housing leaves smokers fuming YUKON NORTH OF ORDINARY™ TRUMPS NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL BC AGAIN Yukon's smoke-free housing comes into effect Jan 1 2012

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tribunal's Decision Reveals DEBACLE

Instilling a Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing - Part XXV

August 10th BC's Human Rights Tribunal accepted another claim about secondhand smoke. August 12th newspapers across Canada picked up on the decision and shone the spotlight on Kathryn Arndt and Maureen Puffer.

The spotlight belongs elsewhere, on the real players in this story.

Read the first page of the decision, which lists the players.

Immediately recognizable to me, lawyer Shawn Smith with Cleveland Doan, Surrey, BC.

Smith represents strata complex, Chelsea Gardens. He wrote about smoking and the strata corporation for local newspapers and strata association newsletters. He outlined the reasons for strata corporations to, proactively, draft a smoking bylaw. I posted his article under Legal Opinions.

Also recognizable to me, lawyer Gerhard Pyper, of Surrey, BC, representing Kathryn Arndt. He, too, is as well versed and well written of the topic of Nuisance, Human Rights, and secondhand smoke.

Last, but certainly not least, is Chelsea Gardens Property Manager, Gerry Blanchard, lead of Crossroads Management, Surrey, BC.

Crossroads acts as property manager for multiple strata complexes, and have additional claims against them on secondhand smoke. Their clients wait for the outcome of these claims. Shawn Smith is busy being on the defensive to limit liability.

The strata Chelsea Gardens, through Property Manager Gerry Blanchard, represented by Shawn Smith, applied for a dismissal to the Human Rights application submitted by the Arndts.

Their affidavit states that Ms. Arndt, “never demonstrated any connection between her health condition(s) and the smoke,” and “no medical evidence to support Katherine's assertion that she is highly allergic to smoke has never been provided to the Strata Corporation.” The affidavit states, “the first reference she makes to her asthma is in an email dated July 12, 2010.” (my emphasis)

The Tribunal approved Arndt's application based on a string of emails from Kathryn Arndt to and from Gerry Blanchard of Crossroads:

  1. July 22, 2009 – Ms Arndt: “While the smoking has been going on, my asthma (which is usually well controlled by the use of an inhaler) has become worse.” “I have chronic asthma and cannot be breathing in secondhand is a hazard to my health.”
  2. September 24, 2009 and October 4, 2009 – Ms Arndt informs Blanchard and the council of the continuing and ongoing problem of secondhand smoke, and that there was a hospitalization over secondhand smoke.
    I am once again having trouble breathing from my chronic asthma problem...This situation needs to be addressed and as soon as possible. I do not plan on ending up in the hospital again because of this.”
  3. May 15, 2010 – Ms Arndt emails Blanchard:
    I thought this problem had been solved last year but obviously, it has started again. I believe they smoke outside to their townhouse does not have smoke in it but why should my townhouse have to be filled with smoke. Why can’t I open my windows and not have to be subjected to this attack on my health[?]” “… My health is more important than allowing these people to smoke right below our windows. Surely something can be done to have this stopped.”
  4. On June 23, 2010 – Mr. Blanchard wrote to Ms. Puffer, copied to the strata council:
    We have received a number of complaints once again this year of guests or residents of your unit who are smoking outside and near your unit and the smoke … rising into the unit above. The Owners above are extremely sensitive to smoke, in fact allergic to second-hand smoke. You are in contravention of both the bylaws of Chelsea Gardens and the City of Surrey smoking bylaw.”
  5. July 8, 2010 – Ms. Arndt wrote to Mr. Blanchard, copied to the strata council:
    I am writing this letter with respect to the ongoing smoking situation with Ms. Maureen Puffer in Townhouse #267...This problem began in early July of 2009. I sent you a very detailed letter via email on July 22, 2009 and have had numerous email and telephone correspondence with you since that time. This entire situation is a matter of a serious health hazard to me. I again emphasize to you that I have chronic asthma and currently take two medications daily to keep it under control”
  6. July 2010 – The strata, subsequently, fined Ms Puffer $25.

The Tribunal decided the strata's and Mr. Blanchard's statements, that they did not know of Ms Arndt's disability or request for accommodation until July 12, 2010, “cannot stand” in the face of this string of emails.

Chelsea Gardens strata pays Gerry Blanchard, lead of Crossroads Property Management and lawyer Shawn Smith to write, swear, and submit an affidavit that reveals a string of lies! And Chelsea Gardens isn't the only strata complex involved with Crossroads.

Secondhand smoke drifts into apartments, and $$$$$$ are floating out!


The Tribunal member might have written the decision and not revealed, so explicitly, this string of untruths. He could have used his discretion and authoring skills differently. He did not.

The Tribunal member states in the decision, I exercise my discretion pursuant to s. 27.3(2)(h) and (3) of the Code to require the parties to engage in mediation....” under the heading “Mandatory Mediation.

Make no mistake in reading or interpretation. The spotlight is not on Ms Arndt, nor how Ms Puffer “questions whether the smoke affect the Arndts to the degree they allege.” This kind of dismissive harassment remains too small to matter in the face of more serious ethical issues in focus.

The Tribunal member instructs the key players, Gerry Blanchard, Shawn Smith, and Gerhard Pyper to engage mediation. There are other, less pointed, ways of writing about settlement meetings and using the volunteer-nudge approach. His instruction serves as a public admonishment to Blanchard, and Smith.

The Tribunal's decision reveals, yet, another example of how the hazards of smoking and secondhand smoke are not an issue. The issue of whether smoke-free housing is legal, is not at issue. They illustrate how council and management and their lawyer trivialized and dismissed the health hazards.

Lies$ Lies$$ and more Lies$$$

If this doesn't move the BC Government into the voluntarily nudge toward legislation, what might?

This is Kathryn's story! This is Kathryn and Douglas Arndt's story!

Debacle –> fiasco, disaster, calamity, catastrophe

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Slaying the Myth of Right-To-Smoke and In-My-Home

Instilling a Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing - Part XXIV

          Speak of secondhand smoke drift and as it relates to smoke-free housing, the occasion triggers everywhere “Right-to-Smoke” and “In-My-Home,” as the first thoughts and spoken words. Furthermore, these words associate to banning smoking, banning smokers, and beleaguered smokers.

          There is no “Right-to-Smoke.” There is no inherent right-to-smoke. Never has been. None exists under the Human Rights Code or Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (see Non-Smokers' Rights Association 2010)

          Tobacco and cigarettes remain a legal product, manufactured by corporations for profit.

          In the most recent book released on the topic, Michael Schwalbe writes precisely and concisely of the “SMOKE DAMAGE” experienced by non-smokers, smokers, and those fighting to eliminate the plague of tobacco. It is the little coffee-table book for the socially conscious on the history of Tobacco Wars.

          Tobacco and smoking release carcinogens and other toxins into the body, into the air, that create addiction to the product, and disease. In addition, Corporate Tobacco manufactured the product to enhance pleasure and increase addiction, engineering a profitable epidemic. They were finally found guilty under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act in 2006.Corporate tobacco exists today, only, as a result of being some of the oldest corporations.  Make that oldest 'gangster' and 'lethal' corporations.

          The “Right-to-Smoke” axiom exists as a left over advertising soundbite from the 1920's. When women won the right to vote, cigarette manufactures recognized that half the population didn't smoke. They advertised referring to, with the right to vote, women also had the right to smoke.

          While there never has been a “Right-to-Smoke,” the phrase ushered in a militant rebirth in the backlash against the smoke-free housing initiative – exactly the fervent wish of corporate tobacco. 

          The privacy issue inherent in the phrase "in-my-home," a government mandate is to intervene (versus interfere) whenever there is a health matter, and specifically when epidemic.  Smoke-free housing exists as an intervention resulting from the epidemic of secondhand smoke between apartments, and involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke. 

          The 2005-2009 government's Tobacco Reduction campaign funded the smoke-free housing initiative, but without Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

          Had governments' funded the Nicotine Replacement Therapy component, with the funds allotted to the smoke-free housing initiative, but without the smoke-free housing initiative, smokers possibly would have accepted the nudge to QUIT NOW with more grace and less militancy. The goal of smoke-free housing probably would be further ahead.  The smoke-free housing initiative report would be a better read; the funds, better spent.

          Instead, last week GlobalTV BC and newspapers across Canada picked up on BC's Human RightsTribunal's decision to accept another claim about secondhand smoke.

          How many is that now?

          Have you noted: the majority are owners against their strata councils and property manager corporations? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Comparing “big” and “too small to matter” crises and catastrophes

Instilling a Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing - Part XXIII

Being ensconced in a bid for smoke-free housing and being more than familiar with the movement, I often do comparisons with what I hear in the news.
For example, the 2007-2010 global financial crisis, where some of the biggest banks and insurance companies went bankrupt; they were thought to be so big and inter-connected, that failure was impossible, but if they did fail, the failure would be catastrophic on a global scale.
The unimaginable did happen, and the axiom “too big to fail” became “too big to fail is too big.” Regulate.
The thought popped into my mind, “their too big to fail, and we're too small to matter.”

One of the common rationalizations given against smoke-free housing legislation from the non-profit sector (boards, managers, associations) might be summed up in the following statement.
Many tenants are emerging from periods of high anxiety and stress, and cannot have perceived additional burdens and restrictions placed on them.”

Read the silent, invisible implicature: “Many smoking, drug and/or alcohol addicted tenants, additionally jeopardized by mental illnesses are emerging from periods of high anxiety and stress (homelessness), and cannot have perceived additional smoke-free burdens and restrictions placed on them.”
I was one of multiple non-smoking, not drug and/or alcohol addicted tenants placed amongst more smokers than ever experienced, despite my incessant blathering about needing a smoke-free apartment – which I'm still doing. That second-hand smoke exposure created, in me, additional burdens and restrictions: a respiratory disease in my body, which hampered managing other health matters. That left me piddling my story to everyone, just everyone. Peddling. I said peddling. Pe-du-ling!
And I would learn, there are smoking, drug and/or alcohol addicted tenants, additionally jeopardized by mental illnesses and homelessness placed among non-smoking, non drug and/or alcohol addicted seniors in non-profits and it's called harmonizing of the populations. We're the buffer-zone for them. If you complain, it's called NIMBY – not-in-my-backyard discrimination. I heard that is called silencing.
WOW. The stuff that is now in my head. Where does it come from?
How come my mental health is not protected to the same degree as mental illnesses? Wait! I'll eventually get there. (Courtesy of standupformentalhealth)

So, sometime in the past, I take a walk around the building, and on two occasions Connie spies me out and fails to stifle her admonishment of me. “Have you any idea how much distress you have caused us? Why are you doing this? We used to be such a great place....”
I interrupt, “I'm hearing an awful lot about the distress caused to the smokers. No-one is talking about the distress caused to non-smokers, including the little white-haired ladies stooped over their walkers walking the halls for exercise, by thoughtless and mindless smokers. You don't get to lay on me your ignorant rant. Go try it on somebody else who will listen.”
How anxiety provoking and distressing was that?
That response came from a documentary, with some rewriting to fit the smoking scenario. The original drama told the story of British children being abused by Christian Brothers in Australia.

On April 14, 1994, chief executive officers from corporate tobacco testified before the US Congress on the Regulation of Tobacco Products, and the Seven Untouchables began their testimony with “I believe nicotine is not addictive.”
Dr. Jeffrey Wigand emerged as the central tobacco industry whistle-blower in the FDA's investigation into the role and effect of nicotine in tobacco products.
June 1997 – November 1998, the US attorneys general of eight states (including California) settled more than 40 pending lawsuits brought against the tobacco industry, for a historic $368 billion. California received $25 billion through to 2025.
Subsequently, BC, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador (and later, four more provinces), launched similar lawsuits against corporate tobacco to recover provincial healthcare costs from tobacco smoke. Ontario, alone, asked for $50 billion.
Imagine the possibility: BC receiving $50 billion each year for, say, thirty years.
And then spending that money for thirty years on my healthcare costs from smoking related diseases.
The butterfly effect really does works, and it all began with chief executive officers from corporate tobacco lying.

Without smoke-free housing legislation, and a mass-media campaign to educate on smoke-free housing, the volunteer (a.k.a. Nudge) approach to smoke-free and smoke-free housing stagnates and suffocates under the weight of ignorance – exactly the fervent wish of corporate tobacco.
Did you know the nudge effect doesn't work as a stand alone, and neither does grandfathering.
Governments admit they can't nudge smokers. There's no will and grace. Non-smokers admit they can't nudge governments to legislate smoke-free housing. There's no Will and Grace.
Final Answer: Litigate. It's all a Nuisance!
Struggling with second-hand smoke? Should you move, or PUSH for smoke-free housing.
Final Answer: Move. You likely will sign a smoke-free lease, and then be able to sue your smoking neighbour in small claims court, where they will have to defend themselves directly. Moral of the story: bypass management and the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Yeh, I win. A million dollars. I'll send all the smokers for rehab to Cortes Island, and celebrate with music in the courtyard.
Rose Marie has not left thebuilding, and continues to write all the news that fit to print, with a little help from her Friends and Golden Girls. They give her the lines and she writes 'em. She gets the credit.