Ill, he is expelled from his home for having smoked pot legal

News 25 January, 2018
  • Photo special collaboration, Genevieve Thibeault
    The smoke that bothers the neighbors has prompted the housing authority to order the expulsion of Ronald Chartier and his cat.

    Boris Proulx

    Thursday, 25 January 2018 01:00

    Thursday, 25 January 2018 01:00

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    A man of Matane, which consumes the whole legality of medical cannabis to soothe his pain will be expelled from home because their smoke is bothering his owners, ordered the housing authority.

    “I don’t know if I’m at the point where I’m going to pick me up in the street. I never shall believe that the court is going to put me outside in the middle of winter, ” said Ronald Chartier.

    The 54 year old man intends to continue to fight in court to keep its housing in the centre of the city of Matane. It should normally leave the 9 February, as ordered by the housing authority on January 8, because the smoke poses a serious inconvenience to owners.

    It would be the first case of consumer legal target for such an expulsion in Quebec, in the opinion of the experts consulted (see another text).

    Cancer survivor, Mr. Chartier has received a prescription for medical cannabis to soothe her pain, in September 2016. He also suffers from osteoarthritis and had to be operated many times in the heart and liver in the past few years.

    “The cannabis helps me with the pain, and it allows me to endure,” says he, ” to the effect that it grills up to five joints per day.

    Without the penny

    Unable to work and on social assistance, Mr. Chartier said also do not have the means to relocate.

    After that, its owner complaining of the smell of cannabis, last spring, it now ensures not to smoke in his living room, but in a portico glued to the housing. Its owner claims to the contrary.

    To its neighbor below, and the owner of the duplex, Gilles Chassé, the consumption of the joints of his tenant is a synonym of nuisance night and day.

    “What bothers us, it is the scent of the smoke. It is foul smelling. The eyes begin to bite me, and it sticks to my lips. I can taste it, ” says Mr Hunted, 75 years of age.

    Himself sick to the heart and lungs, he feared that the smoke aggravates his health status and that of his spouse with a disability. He also believed that the habits of its tenant pose a risk of fire to the building.

    In the summer, it can not open the window for fear that the smoke at him. In the winter, it is the ventilation that carries the smell.

    The consumption of cannabis has not been discussed when Mr Hunted has rented his accommodation, he admits, but it has included the smoking ban in the regulations to the housing later.


    The administrative judge Serge Adam, of the housing authority, decided in his favour, ordering the termination of the lease and the eviction of his tenant disturbing.

    His judgment, which cites the supreme Court of Canada indicating that smoking marijuana inside the housing is a preference of mode of life, and not a protected right.

    Even if the joints are smoked in a legal way, note the judge, it does not confer the right to annoy his neighbours with the smoke.


    More evictions to come because of the cannabis

    The decision to expel a man from Matane to his accommodation to have inconvenienced her neighbours with the smoke of cannabis is permitted but it is a precedent that could encourage other similar cases, even after the legalization.

    “The owners will use this judgment-there, it will create jurisprudence. It is necessary to fear the worst, in the sense that it is above all the most vulnerable people who consume medical cannabis “, ahead of Maxime Roy-Allard, spokesman for the Grouping of committees of housing associations and tenants in Quebec.

    He perceives a “climate of paranoia” in public discourse according to which the owners should completely ban their tenants from smoking cannabis, a few months of the legalization scheduled for July 2018.


    The Régie does not compile data on the reasons for requesting the eviction of a tenant.

    However, according to the associations tenants and owners, Ronald Chartier is the largest consumer of cannabis in the medical purposes kicked out of him for this reason.

    “This decision, in the matter of medicinal cannabis is only dealing with the aspect of the disturbance of the neighbourhood. The owner must demonstrate that there is a nuisance, ” says the lawyer in civil law Frédéric-Antoine Lemieux.

    He always expects that the courts will look at the right of owners to modify existing leases, to add a prohibition on smoking pot inside.

    So far, the court had recognised the rights of smokers of tobacco to oppose the modification of their lease.

    Public health

    To the Corporation of property owners of Quebec (CORPIQ), this decision shows that the court is more concerned with the health of the public.

    “This is great news, not only for the owners but to the tenants themselves who want to live in a smoke-free environment,” explains his spokesman, Hans Brouillette.

    In December, the Quebec landlords Association has asked the government the ability to reopen the leases to prohibit tenants from smoking cannabis.

    This question has not yet passed the test of the courts, and will be followed closely both by owners and by tenants in the coming months.