Thursday, December 16, 2004

Public Health to Trump Property Rights in Ontario

More on the proposed anti-rights bill:

Mark Mishriky is fuming over a proposed law that would banish smokers from patios -- like the one he just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars adding to his downtown bar. Mishriky, who has owned GTs at Richmond and York streets for 17 years, was stunned last night to hear the province had announced an anti-tobacco bill that would ban smoking in all public places, including enclosed outdoor patios.

"It's not right," said Mishriky, who bought and renovated the old New Yorker theatre next to his bar to meet requirements of London's smoking bylaw, which would be overtaken by the new law.

"We had to buy a building, gut it. . . completely restructure it and rip the roof off.

"They forced us to spend a whole pile of money. Now (they're) turning around a year later and saying, 'All that money is spent? You can't use it.' That's ridiculous."
And you guys didn't see it coming? This is where compliance gets us. I am glad to know that I will be able to breathe easier in that underground parking lot though..
Health Minister George Smitherman said the bill aims to prevent exposure to tobacco smoke provincewide.

"The bill . . . would protect all Ontarians from the deadly effects of cigarette smoke, whether they are in their office, at a restaurant, in the laundry room of their apartment building, on the floor of a factory, in an underground parking garage or at a shopping mall," Smitherman said in the legislature.

"In other words, unless Ontarians want to be exposed to cigarette smoke, they won't be."

[. . . .]

If smokers are banished from bars, Peel said, they'll smoke at home, "moving the problems from the pub to the home."

The law would still permit hotel guests to smoke in designated suites and residents in long-term care facilities to light up. But it stops short of banning smoking in private homes.

"If you want to smoke at home, we're not going to stop you," Smitherman said. "We would obviously encourage people with children to step outside to smoke, but we will not legislate this point either."
Oh you aren't going to 'stop' smokers, but you sure are going to make it difficult and unpleasant for them to enjoy their cigarette. I'd like to blow smoke right into your eye Slitherman - I guess your shit doesn't stink either? Note the use of the words "not legislate this point either" - yet. It is coming folks, and it will start with the prohibition of smoking in cars, then it will shift to private residences - that is, if they don't ban the sale of cigarettes in Ontario first. Yesterday's Free Press Article concerning smoking in mental-health institutions also hints at such a ban. In a comment to Mapmaster's post, Basil draws attention to this little tidbit from the article,
A lot of people think that because the funding is from the (Ontario) Ministry of Health, that all these places are smoke-free," he says. "Well, that's not the case. They're just essentially private homes in the community."

'There are no bylaws prohibiting smoking in private residences. And Lounsbury says he can't withhold housing from someone just because they smoke.'
and then goes on to make this comment:

"Might this be an excuse for legislation of smoking in private residences? A surveyor called me recently on behalf of the London Middlesex Health [control] Unit. One of the questions about smoking focused on whether I allow smoking in the presence of children in my residence . . ."

1 Comment:

Michael said...

So when do they ban exhaust from combustion engines and jet aircraft? They are worse for your health than cigarettes. While were at it, paying taxes in this city is becoming very stressful, and I have been told by my doctor that stress is killing me. I want an immediate cessation of all motor vehicles in public places and a lowering of taxes to ease my dangerous stress levels. I'm sure I can come up with some deadly statistics to support my arguement by the end of the day.