As an old man and with a law degree almost a century old, I thought I might be permitted to raise the subject that deals with the question of some rights for some people as opposed to all people.

So the question I would put is the following: Do those tenants in this building, who smoke, have an acquired right to do so whether or not the owners put a no-smoking clause into their leases?

If there is such an acquired right, the notion involved is that when people came to rent in this building, the tenants were permitted to smoke.

The years have passed and most of us now living in this building would completely agree that smoking should be banned in all future leases.

Unfortunately, Homestead had badly clouded the issue with a distorted and misleading so called “survey”. Even worse, at the end of the survey Homestead seems to suggest that the vote tally on the survey bears some legal weight. Just in case that might not be enough, Homestead has declared that those not voting shall be deemed to have voted “yes”.

I want to be clear to those reading that for a very long time I have not been a practicing lawyer. I would not therefore pretend to give a legal opinion. 

Further, I have a son who lives in the building and who smokes worse than a chimney.

So with those two alert notices, let me unprofessionally opine.

That survey form does not pass the smell test and would be thrown out by any judge of any court if it is used to give any legal weight to the vote or survey.

Therefore, residents who smoke need not be afraid that we are reverting to mob rule. Whatever rights they may have, those cannot be reduced or eliminated by this dreadful survey.

Even more appalling is the invitation/order that you are to spy on/report smoking by your neighbours. It is just so contrary to the concepts of rule of Law and Western democracy that I can only find two words to describe it: Utterly revolting.

That leaves us to determine whether or not there are in fact any acquired rights on the part of resident smokers.

We know that judges have refused to evict smokers on the grounds that they have acquired rights and I think this answers the question as to whether they are in any danger.

There is one other angle to this discussion, and that is the role if any, of the CTTA.