B.C. woman takes condo smoking ban push to legislature

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WATCH: A Langley woman pushing to get smoking banned in all multi-unit dwellings is hoping to deliver her petition to the provincial government. Catherine Urquhart has more on what led her to take this on – Jan 7, 2019

A Langley mother is taking her fight against smoking all the way to the B.C. legislature.

Naomi Baker’s battle started two years ago when she tried to stop a neighbour’s second-hand smoke from seeping into her condo.

Baker said she launched an online petition to bring cleaner air to all B.C. condos and townhomes in part because she wants to keep her young daughter healthy.

“When we came home from the hospital in May of last year, it was an ashtray in here,” Baker recalled.

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“The default setting is you’re allowed to smoke,” Baker said, adding that she’s “asking government to make the default non-smoking unless a landlord chooses in the tenancy agreement to say it’s a smoking-allowed building.”

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Baker’s MLA, Mary Polak, has agreed to present the petition at the legislature in the spring.

“I’m looking at whether or not it would be a private member’s bill or if there’s a way to advocate for government to change regulations,” Polak said.

In a statement, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said: “It is very important to hear the concerns of people living in multi-unit housing in B.C. Provincial legislation is regularly reviewed by the province to serve citizens and protect the public interest. ”

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“In our Canadian constitution, the first thing it says is that we have a right to life, and second-hand smoke kills 800 people a year in Canada,” Baker said.

Baker has gathered more than 13,000 signatures online, and an additional 700 signatures have been collected on paper.

Paper submissions are required to meet B.C. legislature guidelines.

Her efforts will continue through January.

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