A B.C. Supreme Court Judge has ordered a Langley man to stop smoking in his condo unit in a legal dispute over no-smoking rules.
Justice Wendy Harris ordered 70-year-old Paul Aradi, a resident of a Langley condo since 2002, to butt out when inside his home.
Residents of the condo, which instituted a no-smoking rule in 2009, began complaining about Aradi’s smoking in 2013. According to the judgment posted online this week, Aradi’s neighbours had complained numerous times about smoke drifting into their units, sometimes from open windows.
The long-running dispute between Aradi and the condo’s strata council ran until 2015, when they took him to court.
Aradi had only responded to strata notices telling him he was violating condo bylaws a few times.
In 2014, he sent the strata corporation a short note asserting that the bylaw was discriminatory and created two classes of residents: smokers and non-smokers. It also claimed the strata was trying to get him to move out after he complained about certain strata council bills.
The judge found no evidence that there was an ideological basis for the other residents’ opposing the project.
In 2015 he sent a note saying the bylaw did not apply to him as he had lived there before there was a ban on smoking.
Although both sides produced witnesses on either the health effects of second hand smoke, or on air quality in the building, Harris didn’t find either of them credible enough to consider.
She found that Aradi had violated the bylaws, and ordered him to stop smoking.
There was a lack of evidence around Aradi’s mobility. The strata noted that he has even been filmed for a TV interview smoking out on the sidewalk away from the building.
A Human Rights Tribunal hearing will be held in July, which could overturn the ruling and allow Aradi to smoke in his unit. But until then, the judge ruled Aradi will have to butt out.