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

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Clearing up secondhand smoke and bullying in the multi-unit housing sector

Instilling a Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing – XXXX

January 2012: Bullying, mobbing, workplace violence, the toxic workplace, sexual and psychological harassment again make headlines in BC, and the locus of attention is government.

Think back, recall: does anyone remember the tragedy of Richard Anderson shooting three Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection employees October 15, 2001? This incident became a watershed in how BC viewed the toxic workplace, and violence between workers. It created a new sensitivity to violence in the workplace, out of which emerged the definitions outlining the behavior of workplace violence.

Definitions exist in occupational health & safety legislation in BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, with Quebec standardizing legislation.

A couple of weeks ago, Sam Cooper for The Province wrote on the “Elite B.C. RCMP spy unit devastated by abuse of power.”

Michael Smyth continued the dialogue focusing on the financial costs: “Bullying takes huge bite out of B.C. Economy,” and “Civil servants share their office-from-hell stories.”

Government public relations denies workplace bullying is the problem purported to be, but government employees in a private online discussion forum reveal a serious problem.

Premier Christy Clark presented herself as an anti-bullying advocate, and promised zero-tolerance on bullying – in schools. In June 2011, she announced reinstatement and expansion of an internationally recognized anti-bullying program, Roots of Empathy. Now, she promises to take decisive action.

Does Premier Clark's zero-tolerance anti-bullying stance extend to the situations I wrote about tagged under “Grandfathering Smokers?”

As destiny plays out, another news reporter, Eric Seeto from Global TV's CHBC Okanagan, picked up on a story of bullying in the subsidized non-profit housing sector connected to secondhand smoke.

Seeto reported that Christopher Housing Society in Penticton evicted Liz Bourassa (along with her two young children) for yelling at her landlord and her neighbours about secondhand smoke (and noise) coming into her childrens' bedrooms.

In fact, it was the alleged yelling as recorded on a frantic voice mail to management, and not yelling about secondhand smoke that the dispute resolution officer found to be cause of interference against the neighbours and the landlord, and granted the eviction.

In desperation at finding herself and her children homeless, Liz Bourassa went to CHBC News, and turned over to them all the documents from the dispute resolution hearing for review. Reporter Seeto asked Liz whether she harassed or bullied her neighbours? “Absolutely not,” said Liz. “I would raise my concerns, and I get hostility.”

Next door to Liz Bourassa is a family of five, all smokers, two of which are teenagers. If they each smoke one pack a day, that is 100 cigarettes. If they sleep 1/3 of the day, and are out and about or at work 1/3 of the day smoking ½ of a pack of cigarettes, then at home during after-work hours, they will each smoke ½ of a pack, and expose Liz and her children to secondhand smoke from approximately 50 cigarettes. That's pretty substantial secondhand smoke drift coming from one neighbour.

Sheilah Findlay, Portfolio Manager with BC Housing attended at the Residential Tenancy hearing in support of Christopher Housing, and therefore has first hand inside knowledge of this situation. This is contrary to BC Housing telling me that their Property Portfolio Managers have no hands-on relationship with their non-profit housing service providers and the management thereof. This is contrary to BC Housing's statement to CHBC Global News that “We have been assured that an extensive consultation took place prior to the tenancy being terminated.”

I challenge anyone interested in reading these documents which Liz Bourassa has made available, to find that yelling was the issue as opposed to secondhand smoke (or noise). Any reasonable and cognizant person reading just the documents provided by Christopher Housing Society, including the dispute resolution officer's decision, might well conclude as I do, that Liz Bourassa was targeted for daring to bring up the secondhand smoke issue repeatedly, and was deemed to be harassing smokers and management because of it. What she did was challenge Christopher Housing's management, and asked that the substantial amount of secondhand smoke be considered under Quiet Enjoyment, in the same way that the judge ruled in Lawrence vs Kaveh.

     Liz also tried to get the RTB decision through for judicial review and was denied that kind of help twice.

     Yes, she is angry, disgusted, and in despair.  Any reasonable person would be so. Any reasonable person trying to protect her two young children would be so engaged.  But Christopher Housing and Liz's tenants have contempt for her.  That's a whole lot of different emotion.

Read about investigating RTB decisions

Read excerpts from Christopher Housing's eviction package

Read about Psychological Harassment and Toxic Workplaces

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The 'In-Perpetuity' of National Non-Smoking Week

Instilling a Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing – XXXIX

National Non-Smoking Week, and Weedless Wednesday is with us once again – January 15 - 21, 2012.

In the Montreal Gazette, the headlines read, “Fewer Quebecers are trying to quit smoking, which means, for anti-tobacco crusaders, that it's time to bring out the heavy guns once again.” Look for a new TV ad passing for a disaster film trailer.

In BC, an article by Tony Gioventu from the Condominium Home Owners Association (CHOA) has been making the rounds through local and provincial newspapers: Smokey issue for condo councils.

Strata councils continue to struggle with applying the policies they have, and making new ones to be more specific.

Both in Stratas and Non-profits, hard won policies are rendered impotent in the face of enforcement issues, which are considered to be physically and financially burdensome. After the breach notices and fines, the legal fees for legally enforcing the issue pose administratively and financially daunting tasks for volunteers cloaked with authority.

This speaks to the fact that smokers are not butting out, “Who's going to make me.” “Who're gonna call?”

An often cited statistic states that “only 9% of condo owners smoke.” One smoker often contaminates the nine suites around and the hallway of the floor. It devalues the strata property, and the suites around the smoking suite. Then, there's the health matter. Secondhand smoke drift makes people sick, beginning with stuffiness and bloody noses, throat constrictions, to respiratory problems like asthma.

In one aspect or another, tenants and owners in a post-2007 world are all sick of secondhand smoke drift and its drama.

Moving on from tobacco secondhand smoke drift to marijuana, the notion exists that with a certificate from Health Canada, you have a license to smoke marijuana. Myth!

Lost to history, the brutal case Sannich vs Young (2003.) Within a week of the Youngs moving in and marijuana contaminating the hallways and apartments, tenants complained. Definitely worth the read. Knowledge becomes authority, and trumps ignorance and abuse.

How we thought once, is not a license for what we think now with new knowledge.

Where the RCMP don't respond to non-emergency calls about marijuana drift, tenants and owners can draft complaints to their Health Authority, Mayor, and RCMP, saying “Consider yourself served.” Complexes turn to Canadian K9 Detection Security & Investigations Ltd.

The real problem with the smoke-free housing idea remains that tenants and owners remain isolated from one another, and misinformed, along with believing “there's nothing more to be done.” Sometimes that's exactly true.

Beth believed she could speak up for smoke-free housing, and speak out about secondhand smoke drift from tobacco and marijuana, and that by keeping the focus on protecting her five and seven year-old children, she would be listened to. Beth was evicted for “yelling” at her neighbours about the smoke coming into her children's bedrooms. They are homeless. Beth has been considered “ungratefuly” for her subsidized housing by so many people, I have lost count. The letters she received from management make a sterling case for libel against the non-profit board. “Yelling” constituted interference with Quiet Enjoyment. “Yelling about” secondhand smoke drift didn't carry sufficient authority, and was thought to be unreasonable. Beth's entangled in a Gordian Knot, and needs help.

There may not be anything more to be done!

Groundhog Day 2012 is fast approaching!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Yukon Housing Corp’s smoke-free housing leaves smokers fuming

Instilling a Fervent Wish for Smoke-free Housing – XXXVIII
The update on the Yukon Housing Corporations smoke-free housing in the Whitehorse Star by Nadine Sander-Green is a nicely balanced article telling it like it is.  The story is generic, and representative of what is happening everywhere.

Health professionals struggle against smoker's resistance to not contaminate other people with their smoke.  Non-smokers struggle against smoker's resistance to not contaminate other people with their smoke.  Dr. Peter Selby, an addictions psychiatrist, relates how smoking over nicotine addiction kills.  In this day and age, the delivery system for nicotine does not need to be smoking.  Non-smokers do not need to be forced, involuntary smokers who suffer from asthma and other smokers' illnesses.

Those smokers who work to quit are hampered by the smokers who don't try, and who carelessly contaminate the air.  Those smokers with dual diagnoses (mental illness, drugs/alcohol, smoking) are more prone to relapse if the environment they live in doesn't help them quit.  

Our financially beleagued health system could be cut by half in five years if we all responded to the #1 public health problem - smoking.  Shouldn't we at least try!  Isn't that what our health professionals are asking, and isn't that what we pay them to do.

"...ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy Jan 1961