Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The weak shall inherit the province

Hmm . . . At the risk of using the mentally ill to make a point . . . but that's what the Free Press writer is doing here. And what the politicians are always doing, using the weakest in society to bludgeon the healthy majority with rules and regulations. If we were to just substitute "Liberal voter" for "Donna" in every instance in this article . . .

About five months ago, a smoker moved in. "She can't tolerate the smoke" . . .

[ . . . Donna ] says she's been suffering from agoraphobia -- an abnormal fear of open spaces or public places -- since childhood. She says she has spent much of her life in various mental-health institutions.

[ . . . ] The 38-year-woman says she complained many times . . .

"And every time, the response was, 'If it makes you sick or you don't like it, move out,' " she says.

Donna says WOTCH offered to place her in an apartment, but she says she can't cope with that now.

"Because of the panic attacks," she says, "I got so afraid of everything that I couldn't leave my bed without totally freaking out."

She says the second-hand smoke just makes things worse.

"I'm agoraphobic, so I can't even stand on the front porch and breathe fresh air," she says. "And there's the anxiety of them (WOTCH) always threatening, 'If you don't like it -- move out.' "

[ . . . ] The director of property management for WOTCH says the group has moved Donna three times in attempts to accommodate her needs, but "she has never been able to live with anybody -- smoker or non-smoker."

[ . . . ] "This woman wants a degree of control over her environment that we just can't guarantee."

1 Comment:

basil said...

I noticed this tid-bit in the original:

'"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.'

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 . . .