Paul Aradi was disappointed by a B.C. Supreme Court decision that forbids him from smoking in his Langley City condominium.
“I have to go out on the street to smoke, or quit, or move out,” said Aradi.
The 70-year-old retired veteran has been smoking for 50 years.
He spoke with The Times by telephone on Wednesday following the release on Tuesday of the Jan. 25 decision by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Wendy Harris.
Aradi has been fighting a smoking ban imposed by the strata council of the condominium complex on 53 Avenue near 204 Street where he has lived since 2002. In 2009, the council changed the rules to forbid smoking inside suites.
Under the new rules, the council can levy a $200 fine every time there is a complaint.
It began enforcing the rule in 2013.
So far, Aradi said, he has been fined $13,600.
During the trial, the strata council secretary-treasurer said Aradi was smoking with his windows open and the smell of smoke had drifted into other units.
The secretary-treasurer was also concerned about the possible fire hazard and affect on property values.
The lawyer for Aradi argued the veteran has a disability resulting from his addiction to cigarettes as well as mobility issues that make it difficult to walk outside for a smoke.
In issuing a cease-and-desist order against Aradi, Justice Harris noted that the “old adage that a man’s home is his castle is subordinated by the exigencies of modern living in a condominium setting. Living in a condominium necessarily involves a surrender of some degree of proprietary independence and owners are subject to the collective’s bylaws and rules.”
Aradi told The Times an appeal of the decision was unlikely, given the cost.
“I’m broke,” he said.
He has applied to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for a declaration that he is being discriminated against on the basis of disability.
That hearing is expected in July of this year.