Thursday, August 10, 2006
It has been YEARS that I have told Montreal-area authorities, accursed landlords (two in particular, who "presided" in pathetic fashion in the building where my dear recently-departed father used to reside and could have easily presided if he had wanted to do so) and the damnable smokers themselves; APARTMENT BUILDINGS SHOULD BE EXCEPTIONS - YOU WANT TO SMOKE IN "YOUR HOME" - OWN IT AND CROAK IN IT! DO NOT POLLUTE THE AIR OF YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FORCE THEM TO DIE WITH YOU - YOU CREEPS!
And NOW, finally, they have listened to me and done as I would have done ALL ALONG, SINCE 1996! A decade's nothing to wait for the right thing to come to pass, eh? WRONG. SECOND-HAND SMOKE IS EVEN MORE LETHAL THAN THE NASTY HABIT ITSELF! IT IS BORDERLINE MURDER! AND NON-SMOKERS SHOULD TAKE IT ON THE CHIN - OR, REALLY, ON THE LUNGS - AND NOT DO A SINGLE THING ABOUT IT? WHAT FOR? TO RESPECT THE PATHETIC SMOKER THAT DOESN'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO WITH HIS OR HER TEN FINGERS ALL DAY LONG, EXCEPT TO LIGHT UP? TO RESPECT THAT INANE CREATURE'S PRIVACY AND LAIR?
In two words: NO WAY! Not under certain conditions; the smoker can only be allowed to endanger HIMSELF AND ONLY HIMSELF while exposing all to his noxious fumes would be tolerated ONLY IF OTHERS ARE DUMB ENOUGH TO WANT IT THAT WAY! Whether it is a public place or any kind of home DOES NOT MATTER ONE BIT AND SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT AT ALL! PUBLIC HEALTH AND LIVES ARE WHAT TRULY MATTERS - NOT ANYTHING ELSE!
In this case, the actual ruling is "Depuis le 31 mai, la loi antitabac interdit aux résidants d’un immeuble de plus de six logements de fumer dans les espaces communs. La loi ne s’applique pas aux espaces privés" - which means that, since May 31st, the new anti-tobacco laws forbid smoking to residents of a building of more than six apartments in the "common space" - lobby, hallways, stairways and such...
However, this made out to be "scandalous" headline addresses another reality - a new reality that has dawned at long last! The headline is written as if to suggest that they are saying "oh-my-God, they want to forbid people from smoking in their own apartment! This is draconian! This is Orwellian! This is nazism! This is a scandal and a breach of privacy!" Well - no it isn't! Smoking is nothing short than a public menace! So are the other forms of pollution that mankind has invented over time, but that is not the focus right now... This is the focus: «plusieurs propriétaires nous demandent comment s’y prendre légalement pour inclure au bail des clauses pour empêcher des locataires de fumer dans leur appartement. C’est un phénomène récent», which is, in English words, the tendency nowadays to see landlords ask the Rental Board how to proceed to make it a part of the lease such a clause as to prevent tenants from smoking in the apartment! Some pundits will say "they pay the rent, they can do whatever they want in there" - and that, again, IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL. Any tenant that ever was, is or will be KNOWS that there are rules and a line of conduct to observe. One more clause should not be too much, I would think, especially in buildings that have little or nothing in terms of a ventilation system!
As the most sensible landlords that I ever saw noted, "smoking disturbs other tenants and it even damages the building, in the long run. After two short years, the scent has penetrated the walls and only repainting can mask the problem."
Luckily, for now, the flawed laws of said Board are not about to take away the right of these few sensible landlords and their *good* tenants to BREATHE CLEAN AIR...
«Pour l’instant, rien dans la jurisprudence n’empêche les propriétaires d’inscrire une clause antifumée», confirmed a Rental Board representative. However, in order to be able to demand such a "sacrifice" from their tenants, the landlord has to ask for that non-smoking favor when the lease is signed. And it has to be all in written, of course. Such an agreement will be hard to come by, much less to enforce if it is a rule set against a contingent of known smokers that occupy the building and resent such a restraint. Silly tenant associations are actually lamenting now that this has gone too far, that it is a "witch hunt for smokers" instead of merely "ridding themselves of the nauseating smoke"... Hey, dimwits, one cannot get rid of the smoke without putting out the damn fire first! Smoke is out of public places - but how much time does the average person spend in a shopping mall on a normal day, eh? Minutes, maybe an hour at the most? So, it could be up to 23 hours spent at home, in the case of, say, a retiree with asthma or bronchitis! If that person lives in an apartment building filled with smoking tenants, what good is that "public ban on smoking" - EH?!? One has to deny himself the pleasurable usage of their home because thy neighbors are puffing it up like there was no tomorrow (and there isn't, for them) in theirs? That is absurd.
For once, I have to side with the landlords' "association des propriétaires" when they say that «certains locataires sont plus sensibles (how considerate of them to put the tenants first!) à la fumée, le marché change (it sure does) et il y a une demande (if there was no demand for it, they'd probably wouldn't bother either... with a few exceptions, sure) pour des logements sans fumée. Il y a de plus en plus de gens qui souffrent (and landlords care so much when their tenants suffer, yes) d’asthme. Le tabac laisse des traces et des odeurs (that it sure does) dans un appartement» - and in any other sort of home too, don't forget nor omit that!
It isn't just good for "more than six" apartment buildings either! Duplex owners who will rent to strangers their "second half" have a right to demand that these strangers do not pollute their property's atmosphere!! Certain housing structures are older than others too, therefore the stench of tobacco can spread much faster to the entire structure and THAT should NEVER be tolerated - EVER. Just because your neighbor enjoys stinking up the place does not mean that you should too! Renting a home is not synonymous with putting up with your neighbours' crap!
Nor is it synonymous with sharing his or her fate and DYING A SLOW ASPHYXIATING DEATH WITH HIM OR HER!
Everyone about to be shot full of holes is given the choice though: "blindfold - or not?"
I would even allow for one last cigarette - once at that point, it truly makes no difference at all, eh?
So, I gather the name is "justshootme" now... eh?
Always did like the biting humor of that show...!
"Just Shoot Me"...
Or, as I call them, "formidable forwardables" - though this is not technically it...
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