Een hoteleigenaar in Manitoba krijgt plotseling een fikse boete voor roken in een bus die voor zijn deur staat.
Alleen… Die bus is niet van hemzelf maar van een vriend en regelmatige bezoeker die de bus daar had geparkeerd om zo nu en dan droog een sigaretje te kunnen roken. En natuurlijk zijn er weer vrienden van die vriend die daar ook wel eens gebruik van maken…
Een horrorverhaal uit de voorbeeldstaat voor onze eigen Hollandse anti-rokers…
No puffing on the bus
Hotelier faces anti-smoking charges
A hotel owner has been charged under the city’s new anti-smoking bylaw, despite the alleged violation taking place in a vehicle outside his building. Franco Magnifico says he’s seeing red after provincial government health inspectors served him with a violation notice for tobacco use in an old school bus parked just outside his St. Boniface Hotel’s door.
“If it’s about the bus, it’s not my bus,” Magnifico told The Sun yesterday after three charges were laid last week against the inn’s two registered proprietors. “It’s like in your car — can they give you a subpoena for smoking in your car?”
Magnifico admits the bus — which belongs to a friend — has been parked for storage for more than a month outside a side entrance to his Dumoulin Street inn.
And he admits it’s sometimes been used as a smoking haven for his customers who have been prevented from lighting up inside the building since Sept. 1.
“So he could go in there and have a smoke,” he said of the bus owner. “It’s a private vehicle.”
‘PUBLIC HAS ACCESS’
But Manitoba Conservation official Dave Ediger says the vehicle in this case falls under the law against smoking in enclosed places.
“It’s got four walls and a roof, and the public has access to it. So it meets the criteria,” said Ediger, director of the Red River region.
And the three charges — for using ashtrays, not using proper signage and the smoking itself — have been properly laid against the owner after people were seen lighting up on board, he added.
“In our opinion, he was the person in charge of this particular bus, and the bus is seen as an enclosed public space.”
The charges — the first laid under the bylaw by provincial staff — have been issued to Jo-Car Enterprises Ltd. and Magni-Prince Enterprises Ltd.
Magnifico’s acquaintance who owns the bus doesn’t appear to have been charged. Magnifico says he has a date in provincial court Jan. 12.
Magnifico, who is fighting the city in court over property-tax assessments, said his latest battle has him frustrated.
“We’re fighting so many battles right now, it’s ridiculous,” he said. “This city is driving me crazy.”