Tips from Centra Lawyers

Do provincial or municipal governments have smoke-free laws that apply to strata corporations?

Yes. Effective March 31, 2008, pursuant to the newly amended Tobacco Control Act, BC now has province-wide legislation that protects people from second-hand smoke in multi-unit dwellings, including strata corporations, by banning smoking:
• In common areas of apartment buildings, condominiums and dormitories, including elevators, hallways, parking garages, party or entertainment rooms, laundry facilities, lobbies; and
• Within 3 meters (buffer zones) of public entrance ways to buildings, open windows and air intakes.
Smoking in these areas would be a breach of section 3(1)(d) of the Schedule of Standard Bylaws from the Strata Property Act, which provides that an owner, tenant, occupant or visitor must not use a strata lot, the common property or common assets in a way that is illegal.
Municipalities have the authority to pass non-smoking bylaws that exceed the new provincial smoke-free Regulations, including bylaws that regulate smoking within multi-unit dwellings. Municipalities such as the City of Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond and the Capital Regional District have passed bylaws with stricter buffer zone requirements than the province.

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