Marjorie Richards defies apartment smoking rules, despite eviction risk

A Sudbury woman has won a fight to stay in her apartment.
A Sudbury woman is allowed to stay in her apartment after breaking the smoking bylaw. (Canadian Press)

A Sudbury woman has won a fight to stay in her apartment.

Members of the co-operative home in which 70-year-old Marjorie Richards lives voted on Wednesday to allow her to stay — even though she continues to disobey the housing bylaw by smoking on her patio.

Richards, who goes out for a smoke on her patio every morning, is allowed to smoke in her apartment, but she doesn't want smoke inside her place.

Rockview Seniors Co-Operative Homes, located in Sudbury's south end, outlawed smoking on patios in June.

Richards says she should be allowed to continue smoking because the rules were changed five years after she moved in.

"I'm not allowing them to discriminate [against] me and take my Canadian rights away."

Her next door neighbour, Ron Martin, agrees.

"Let it be. People have the right to do what they want within the confines of their area."

'Many chances' given

Bu the home's board of directors told CBC News they received half a dozen complaints from residents about the issue.

Vice-president Pierrette Garneau said they've given Richards three notices to stop.

"None of us wanted to kick her out. But … we gave her so many chances."

Although Richards can stay in her apartment, she's still not allowed to smoke on her patio.

Garneau says the board is weighing its options before deciding what to do if she continues to break the rule.

Richards says she's been stressing about the decision for months.

"I don't understand it. I ended up in the hospital twice [in] October ... because of my blood pressure. Stress."

The members voted 18 to 14 to let Richards stay.

Lynn Lacroix, the president of the board of directors for Rockview, said the co-op "is really a great place to live, but you have to follow the bylaws and everyone else does."


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