Apartment smoking rules not working for North Bay's Yvette Giroux
Landlord says grandfather clause protects existing smokers living in apartments
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.
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.