Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Entitlement? Stupidity? Ignorance?

But how can one be ignorant when there are signs?

Yep, I'm talking about smoking.

According to the Smoke Free Ontario Act, the reason why no smoking is allowed on any outdoor GO train platform is because under Section 1. Definitions, it's considered an enclosed public space defined as: "(ii) to which the public is ordinarily invited or permitted access, either expressly or by implication, whether or not a fee is charged for entry". Source

Watching people smoke at GO stations in the areas designated as non-smoking angers me. People have become too entitled and selfish and feel laws don't apply to them. And second, the lack of enforcement of the no-smoking by-law by GO Transit is equally frustrating which is why I addressed this situation (it's bad at Oshawa and even worse at Oakville) with the MPP for Oshawa, Jerry Ouellette. A copy of the email is online.

GO Transit is a provincial organization funded with my tax dollars and fare, which in turn also pays the salaries of the people operating it and the ones who govern it. I've had enough.

Smokers have the whole planet to smoke on yet, many insist on smoking in the areas where it's not allowed. It's not allowed because the risks of second-smoke are well-known and non-smokers are protected by our government through the Act. You'd have to be living under a rock if you aren't aware of the taxing financial burden smoking has on our health care system.

Just yesterday, in the Ontario budget, it was mentioned that Ontario is cash-strapped. Drivers, wealthy seniors and new homebuyers are expected to help pay down the debt.

What about the smokers? Those who can't obey the law should be fined and enforcement is paramount.

One of this site's readers has started a Facebook page to highlight the infractions at the Oakville GO Station. It's a step but citizen activism is a thankless job and it's ridiculous that it's come to this when we have an organization, Metrolinx, and a provincial government in place to handle the governance of by-laws.

It's time to collect money where money is due.


Squiggles said...

And with smoking, how about actually fining people for all the by-law infractions on the train and in the parking lot?

It is purely laziness on their part as it is an untapped gold-mine.

And maybe everyone should take it up with their MPP? I know the Ajax smoking situation is just nasty. With all the people smoking right outside the buses - filling them up with smoke.

Shirker said...

Just yesterday afternoon at Union, there was a guy on platform 5 smoking while the doors of the train sat open for 10 minutes for boarding. Given that he was in plain view of GO employees (he was by the first coach) I figured he's friends with them and/or they just don't care.

C.J. Smith said...

They *should* care.
However, it's the transit officers who are PAID to care.
There are not enough of them.

Sylv said...

Hear hear! At the EG station a few smokers stand, literally, one step off the platform, right in the walkway. I have allergies which are triggered by certain colognes/perfumes, certain flowers, and yes, cigarette smoke, so I have to pinch my nose and cover my mouth as much as possible as I make my way through the fumes.

Rick said...

Uh hello?
I found this whole post offensive.
We smokers do pay down the debt through the tax we pay on a pack of cigarettes. In fact, we pay more tax to smoke than people pay to eat fast food where they can get obese and also be a drain on health care so how about you go after the drive thru fucks and slap a surtax on that junk and leave us already over-taxed smokers alone?!

I don't get what your beef is with smokers lately but I was a fan on your site because I felt included now I just feel like an outsider. Consider me one less fan today.

C.J. Smith said...

Rick (and you will be back because it's human nature to want to know what people have to say about you).

First, thank you for being a fan. I hope you re-consider your position.

My beef is not with smokers. Smoke em if you have em has always been my motto.

Maybe you need to re-read my rant?

My beef is with smokers who don't play by the rules. I agree you're already penalized for being a smoker because of how much it costs to smoke but isn't it nice to know that health care for you when you get sick from smoking is pooled from all taxpayers' wallets, even the non-smokers?

We're all in this together. When you get lung cancer, I take care of you so you owe it to me as a non-smoker to support me in fighting against those who jeopardize my health by violating laws designed to protect us - the non-smokers.


Anonymous said...

I take the LSE train too at Oshawa. I see people smokeing all over the place on the platforms, by the presto machines, by the ticket office. What I have never seen is a dedicated smoking area. Mayde if they had that with a butt can we also would have their cigarette butts all over the places.

Squiggles said...

@ Anon, I like the idea, but it would never work.

A) People smoke on their way to and from their cars, trailing the crap behind them.

B) A lot of smokers don't like the smell of their own carcinogens, so having them huddle together makes something so heinous that they couldn't stand the smell.

C) They lose the sense of entitlement that inconviencing non-smokers gives them.

I could probably think of some more, but well, it's 3pm and my brain crashed.

Anonymous said...

I did actually see enforcement warning/ticketing people at Exhibition station on Saturday post-TFC game. Same lame excuses - "I didn't know you couldn't smoke here".

Skin Man said...

I don't know why every Metro Linx employee is not required to enforce the by-laws...fine don't give tickets but tell offenders they are being douches and to smarten up before the GOstopo arrive.

ExGOnowTTC said...

There should be a certain section of the train for smokers.
I suggest the roof.

kary said...

Perhaps one reason GO staff doesn't enforce it is because they also smoke in restricted areas.
I cut across the bus area on my way to the train in Oshawa, and I often see bus drivers smoking by the side of their bus. Just last week I saw the CSA for the train smoking on the platform-granted it wasn't on the side where people are walking, but when smoking is prohibited in a public area, it's prohibited for everybody. Just because we cant see you, doesn't mean its okay.

On another note, I seriously doubt that revenue from cigarettes covers the cost of a smokers tobacco-related diseases. You cannot compare illness from fast-food to cigarette smoking! Nonetheless, I understand the addiction. I quit 12 years ago. It was killing me. It's a slow death.

deepfish said...

Rick: We are not targetting smokers, just the people who smoke where they are not supposed to, flagrantly. Of course you pay taxes on your cigarettes. But my (and your) health care costs are covered out of general revenue. When I breathe in enough cigarette smoke (and one never knows from day to day just how much is enough) I get a definite reaction. Eventually these reactions may cause me serious debilitation... adding to health costs for me and you through no action of my own. Therefore I avoid areas that I know will have smokers in them. GO Transit promises safe smoke free stations, but then does not enforce that promise AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

On an added note - the day that cholesterol and calories are proven as possible airborne contaminants capable of damaging non-fatburger eaters' health, there may be an analogy there...