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‘My lawyer is on speed dial,’ Burnaby owner warns strata over no smoking enforcement

The city is cracking down on smoking, but not everyone agrees
Glacier Media file photo

The City of Burnaby has a tougher smoking regulation bylaw set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022 – including big new fines.

Todd wishes his strata had the same view as the city.

The Burnaby condo owner is fed up with his strata not enforcing the smoking regulations in his building, which has led to smokers openly defying the other residents because they know there won’t be any consequences.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Todd. “What’s the point of having bylaws if the strata is too afraid to enforce them? I have tried to politely ask people to not smoke in the lobby, the hallways and the elevator and the smokers just laugh at me. One even blew smoke in my face.”

The problem, Todd says, is that there are several smokers who sit on the strata council. They tell the residents that they are enforcing the bylaw, but can’t show any proof that any fines have been handed out to anyone before. Some strata members have literally witnessed this behaviour and just shrugged their shoulders as residents were laughed at.

Residents are also smoking on their balconies, something that isn’t allowed.

“It was worse during the summer when people were out on their balconies,” he said. “My friends couldn’t go out for a relaxing summer evening because the smoke was drifting up.”

Well, Todd has had enough and now he’s rallying the other residents in an effort to take legal action.

“’My lawyer is on speed dial,’ I told them,” Todd said. “I’m hoping it doesn’t get to that point, but rules are rules.”

Meanwhile, Burnaby council has approved a bylaw that will mean tougher restrictions on smoking cigarettes, tobacco, cannabis, e-cigarettes and vape products in public parks, city-owned or controlled outdoor public spaces, and certain business premises.

The penalties for violating the smoking bylaw will range from $200 to $500.

“Smoking is a significant public health threat linked to more than two dozen diseases and health conditions, including various cancers, heart diseases and respiratory issues,” says a city news release. “The Burnaby Smoking Regulation Bylaw is the result of the city's commitment to protecting the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoking.”

Too bad Todd’s strata doesn’t take this as seriously as the city does.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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