Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Consider seeking out ways to minimize your own exposure around individuals who chose to disobey our by-laws". Such as making your own catapult?
5:00 PM (17 minutes ago)

to michael.mxxxxxkflynn.mpp.codmatthews.mpp..bobme
April 18, 2012
Reference No:  2012XXXXXX
Mr. Michael Mxxxxx

Dear Mr. Mxxxxxxx:

GO Transit supports a Smoke-Free Ontario and was an early adopter of it's own by-law to prohibit smoking on GO Transit property.  Over the years we have made a significant investment into both regulatory signage, enforcement and deterrence.  Despite Federal, Provincial and municipal regulations and prohibitions, certain individuals continue to smoke in prohibited areas.  The problem is not unique to GO Transit. 
We know that changing behaviour is a long term strategy and the best solutions are always achieved through voluntary compliance.  Consequently our enforcement efforts are a combination of education, awareness and penalties.  The province has developed a comprehensive Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy which combines public education with programs, policies and legislation to:
  • help smokers to quit,
  • protect non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke, and
  • encourage young people to never start.
GO trains and GO buses serve a population of six million in an 8,000-square-kilometre area carrying 200,000 passengers each day.  It would be cost prohibitive and impractical to impose a zero tolerance approach to the enforcement of any one of our by-laws.  Transit Safety Officers are assigned regular patrols of all of our stations and enforce a wide variety of by-laws.  We prioritize our deployment based on trends, public complaints and the severity of the issue.

I encourage you to continue to report problem areas to our Transit Safety Office.  Your information is helpful and appreciated.  I would also encourage you to consider seeking out ways to minimize your own exposure around individuals who chose to disobey our by-laws.  In general, confrontations can be unpredictable and counter productive. 

In response to your email, we have asked staff to dedicate additional patrols of your station and we will review our station's cleaning standards and ensure signage is in a good state of repair.  Thank you for bringing these concerns to our attention.

Catherine XXXXX
Supervisor, Customer Relations


I don't purport to be an engineer or a sketch artist. However, from this email I have determined the only method us non-smokers really have to get around the smokers at GO stations is to launch ourselves through the air onto the platform.

Patent pending.


Bicky said...

Maybe it's time to wear the surgical masks like the ladies in the nail salons?

Sounded like the typical blah blah response one would expect from GO Transit.

CJ's picture made it worth reading to the end!

Squiggles said...

oooo.... a GO branded catapult!

But yes! score one for a not form letter response. Too bad it completely negates (aka misses) the point of his complaint.

Once again, GO passes the buck. Welcome to Ontario.

elvis said...

Would you consider sending me Catherine's last name so I can send her photos of smokers directly?

deepfish said...

elvis: won't work. trust me. but you will get the satisfaction of making smokers feel a bit peeved for a few secs until the nicotine craving distracts them...

I'm shagged out after a long day. Check your email cj.

Anonymous said...

If I minimize my exposure to individuals not obeying by-laws I might never get to work.

If others do the same, GO will dry up their customer base.

GO clearly thought this though!

Anonymous said...

GO is just lazy! I have seen employees smoke in nonsmoking penalties depend on which employees are working that won't be seeing them give themselves tickets!

Canuck said...

So if "It would be cost prohibitive and impractical to impose a zero tolerance approach to the enforcement of any one of our by-laws." Does that mean we can pretty much do anything? Like walk around smoking with my bicycle at rush hour with my rollerskates whilst shouting "My name is Cleopatra" at the top of my lungs?

ExGOnowTTC said...

Do that on the TTC. You'll fit right in.

Anonymous said...

Assuming I remember my Intro to Law course in college (and, ergo, the Rules of Civil Procedure), a key component to claiming damages in a civil lawsuit is whether or not the complainant took any steps to mitigate their damages (or whatever loss lead them to file the lawsuit). Specifically, if they were victims of chronic theft, did they do anything to ensure that security measures were ramped up before crying foul? If they were being charged an inflated fee for a recurring monthly service such as a telephone bill, did they pay what they thought was fair anyway, and leave the disputed amount, or did they simply not pay at all? In this case, the cause for concern is illegal smoking. GO’s suggestion that the non-smokers take evasive action to avoid the smoky air in a designated non-smoking area is laughable, yet, sadly predictable. They seem to be covering their bases for a potential litigation.

deepfish said...

Yes it took a week for this missive to go through the guts of GO. I expect it passed through a few lawyers' grubby little hands The letter reads like committee cover your buttspek in a number of places.... so far though the witnessed results have been semi-gratifying. Maybe we could continue to other problems with the same formula. Get out yer Canons!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a different solution is to create an area where they can smoke like some amusement parks have done. Maybe they could go as far as to enclose it like a little hotbox so the smokers get a full nicoine hit and leave us non-smokers alone.

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