Monday, December 17, 2007

Canadian Tax Dollars At Work

Should the government, to satisfy meddling busybodies with so much time to spare that they seek to control the behaviour of everyone who is different from them, spend its time prosecuting ridiculous cases? I don't think so. The anti-smoking Nazis are hard at work even in Ontario, Canada. They seek to extend their power and control everywhere. And they waste our tax dollars.

Who owns you and your body? Not you, apparently. But we knew that already. Read the latest, overreaching act of idiocy, copied from an appeal on the Ontario Libertarian Party website, below:


Mike Kennedy Appeals Smoking Ban for Private Clubs

On January 3, 2008, Mike Kennedy and David Lindsay will appear in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to defend property rights. We need your help to pay for the air fare for David Lindsay to come and represent Mike at the appeal.

Here is the case in a nut shell.

Mike Kennedy has been fighting smoking bans for several years. When Ontario introduced the Smoke Free Ontario Act, it did not included private clubs. So Mike decided to establish a private club for smokers known as “Smokers Choice/Non Smokers Choice” in a pub that was going out of business thanks to the Act.

Mike went to great lengths to ensure his club qualified as a "private" club. He established a Charter consisting of a set of mandatory rules, regulations and constitution that specified things like how members would elect a board of directors There are no employees, only volunteers. Members must pay monthly dues, not a fee per visit. A Doorman ensures that only registered members are allowed into the club. Mike was in the process of establishing a computer system with photos of members to help ensure only members are admitted. Members must sign an agreement that they are prepared to accept the hazards of second hand smoke and keep an eye on the entrance to ensure no one but members enters, among a few other things. Advertising for the club was directed at smokers and not to the general public. "Guests" are not allowed.

On September 8, 2006 two inspectors from the Health Unit of the Ontario Government arrived at the club to investigate a complaint that the club was permitting smoking on site. Mike allowed them to enter the club for observation, and they observed ashtrays. Mike assured him this was a private club and in compliance with all regulations. One of the inspectors returned on September 13, 2006 to obtain more information. He asked Mike to post No Smoking signs, but Mike refused. Mike explained the membership requirements and fees, but the inspector would not agree to the rules of the club, especially the one were he would have to agree not to jeopardize the enjoyment of other members. Mike refused to allow him entry, since he was not a member. He returned again on the occasion of the grand opening three days later and was again refused entry. He returned once more on September 20 and took photographs, and was once more refused entry.

In spite of all of the above, Mike Kennedy was charged under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Justice of the Peace Bartraw, after hearing all of the above and more, convicted Mike of allowing smoking in an enclosed public place!

In his Appeal Mike concedes his club is an enclosed place, but he argues it is not a public place under the meaning of the Act. Alternatively, if it is "public," then the definition in the Act is general, vague, ambiguous and/or uncertain in its scope and application. He is also appealing on the grounds that there was a reasonable apprehension of bias on the part of JP Bartraw. Batraw gave no reason for declaring the club to be public, other than to note that members of the club were also members of the public. If this club is public, then the only private property (so far) is your home!

It is important that we fight this attack on private property. It appears that the JPs that Mike has encountered in this and previous smoking cases are determined to go beyond the Smoke Free Ontario Act and ban smoking even in private places. Smitherman and other MPPs might have wanted to go further, but they knew the voters wouldn't let them get away with it. The next step will be to ban smoking in cars, then maybe the public will be ready to accept even more draconian measures and infringements of their rights.


The Ontario Libertarian Party paid $678.40 for a copy of the Transcript of the trial so that Mike Kennedy and David Lindsay could prepare their appeal. The air fare for David on WestJet from Kelowna to Toronto and back is $802.78. (David is not charging for his time.) We need your help to cover these costs.

You can pay online with PayPal by clicking here.
Or you can call the Party at 416-283-7589 or 1-888-668-5423 with your VISA card.
Or you can send a cheque to
Ontario Libertarian Party.
7-91 Rylander Blvd., Box 121
Scarborough, ON M1B 5M5


  1. Smoking, like so many other things, should be left up to the person who wants to do them. However, smoking in a restaurant or any enclosed space is taking it to the next step of affecting others. It's not just an annoyance, it's a health risk.

    Living in a province that does not allow smoking in any workplace, I totally appreciate it, and am surprised at other places that still allow it.

    Truly, I can barely fathom the days when smoking was allowed on airplanes...

  2. In this case, it was not a 'public place' in any sense of the word. It was open only to members, who clearly wanted to be there, who wanted the right to smoke on the premises, and who were not concerned by the presence of second-hand smoke, as evidenced by their signing agreements to that effect.

    There is a very real danger in legislating against anything that should be a matter of personal choice. Once the precedent has been set, then the legislated idiocy will reflect the preferences of the goons who hold power at any given time.

    My mother, a very moral woman, used to say that certain things that she considered immoral should be outlawed. I pointed out to her that the situation could easily resolve at a future date where Christians, for example, could be outlawed, persecuted and vilified, because the precedent to legislate personal behaviour had been set.

    How far are we from that state right now? Not very.

    I don't smoke. But legislating against any number of so-called victimless crimes is vary, very dangerous. The war on drugs has caused more grief, death, loss of assets and income, than similar harm caused by the drugs themselves. Much crime is drug-related because the profits are so high in controlled markets.

    I have no problem with prohibitions against smoking in airplanes, because airplanes are private property and the owners should be able to allow or disallow whatever they want. A competitor, for example, should be able to offer smoking-allowed flights, if the demand for such services exists.

    Restaurants and bars could be designated by their owners to be smoking allowed or otherwise, and customers could choose which to patronize.

  3. *disgusted sigh*
    More damned authoritarianism!!!
    I know two very good restaurants in my home town that have gone under because of this crap; all because some Papist bastard wanted to impose his will on everyone "for the common good", and the city council was bribed, coerced or stupid enough to let them - I strongly suspect the latter.
    I repeat my mother's favorite prayer: "God save U.S. from the do-gooders." Amen!!!

  4. Big Brother arrives with a vengeance.
    The "War" on drugs has been a failure for more years than I can remember. It has failed because too many users smoke or ingest their vice of choice in the privacy of their own homes.
    The do-gooders, recognizing that failure, now have to have something else to attack. Someone needs to open a legal method of revolt against "the common good" that is neither.

  5. Sometimes, it seems the current chapters of life on Earth could be made into a soap opera. Title: As the Stomach Churns.