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.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
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