In the wake of a BC Human Rights Tribunal ruling last year, the jobs of hundreds of condominium corporations have just gone from difficult to surreal.
The decision by the BCHRT was a refusal to dismiss a complaint against a condominium strata council who refused to enact a non-smoking bylaw when asked to by two residents who claimed to be sensitive to second-hand smoke.
If the Kabatoffs are able to establish that they have disabilities that are exacerbated by second-hand smoke, their complaint that Strata Corp. failed to accommodate their disabilities could amount to discrimination under the Code.
In other words, the following scenario is now plausible. A small condominium complex has several tenants who smoke, and nobody has a problem with it. A new tenant applies for residency, and despite his intolerance of second-hand smoke cannot be denied the accommodation on the basis of his disability. He is then able to force every other tenant to either quit smoking or move out, backed up by the BCHRT every step of the way.
As an aside, I wonder if the smokers can launch a counter-complaint accusing the Kabatoffs of discriminating on the basis of their disability (nicotine addiction).
But here’s another scenario, taking the BCHRT’s reasoning one step further: An elderly man who suffers from frequent migraines triggered by loud noises moves into a complex in which there are many young families with small children. He then requests that a no-children bylaw be enacted to accommodate his disability…