NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More condo owners are losing patience with the British Columbia government when it comes to smokers in strata buildings.
It’s been three months since the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing received a 17,000 signature petition calling for a smoking ban in multi-unit buildings, presented by a Langley mom.
The decision to ban smoking in a building currently remains in the hands of strata councils. And Molly Kaye, who successfully fought to get her building smoke-free, says that’s madness.
“It’s not fair your neighbour should decide if you’re exposed to carcinogenic chemicals,” she says. “When the province abdicated their responsibilities to step in and protect people against this known carcinogen they basically say ‘you guys figure it out – you neighbours talk amongst yourselves and figure it out.'”
Kaye doesn’t understand why smoking hasn’t been banned in all shared space.
“At one point people could smoke on airplanes and in restaurants, they could smoke everywhere, they could smoke in their office in the cubicle next to you and then they couldn’t,” she says, adding she’s concerned about the province’s inaction.
Anton Shendryk won the war against smoke in his North Vancouver building but says strata bylaws are toothless and they need government muscle.
“Strata bylaw is such a little thing and it’s hard to enforce – it’s impossible to control in many cases,” he says. “When it comes to enforcing the rules, we need to have an actual authority to do that.”
The province has said the issue is being considered.