Sudbury·Poll

Apartment smoking rules not working for North Bay's Yvette Giroux

A North Bay woman is trying to change the rules around smoking in apartments.

Landlord says grandfather clause protects existing smokers living in apartments

Yvette Giroux says she doesn't want to move because her rent is geared to her income, and she was there first. (Jean-Loup Doudard/Radio-Canada)

A North Bay woman is trying to change the rules around smoking in apartments.

She wants to get rid of a grandfather clause that protects tenants who smoke in her building.

Yvette Giroux said her health is deteriorating because of second-hand smoke from her neighbour's apartment.

"Last time I was in the hospital, they said that the next thing is for me is to be hooked up to an oxygen tank," she said.

Giroux said she doesn't want to move because her rent is geared to her income.

Her landlord said there's nothing she can do because Giroux's neighbour moved in before the building was declared smoke free.

But Giroux — who has lived in the building since before her smoking neighbour — isn't backing down.

"My thing is to get the grandfather's clause completely removed and then we won't have to live with this."
Terry Copes, the executive director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic, says a tenant can take on a landlord if smoking poses a serious a health risk. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Disputes on the rise

The executive director of the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic said a tenant can take on a landlord if smoking poses a serious a health risk.

"The general sort of negative effects of second-hand smoke by themselves wouldn't be sufficient," Terry Copes said.

"It would have to be a particular sensitivity or health effect."

Copes noted tenant smoking cases are increasing.

"It's becoming more and more of an issue as more buildings go non-smoking and also the awareness of the rights of non-smokers has become more prominent overtime."

Copes said Giroux could take her case to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

But Giroux said she's already exhausted all legal options, and is now reaching out to politicians to make her cause an election issue.

Do you think smoking should be allowed in multi-residential buildings?

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