|Jump to full article: CBC News (ca), 2002-06-17|
Author: Written by CBC News Online staff
MONTREAL - A federal inmate in Quebec says he has the right to live in a smoke-free environment, and is suing the federal government for making him share a cell with a smoker.
Mario Tremblay is asking for $200,000 for endangering his health by denying him the right to live in a smoke-free environment. He's also asking that Ottawa donate another $500,000 to charity.
Fellow inmate Michel Lavoie drew up the lawsuit, saying Tremblay got the idea from the federal government's anti-tobacco television advertising campaign last winter.
Lavoie says prisoners are allowed to smoke everywhere in prison, making it almost impossible to escape the smoke.
Francois Damphousse, the Quebec director of the Non-Smokers Rights Association says Tremblay may have a strong case.
"The health rights of a non-smoker prevails over the health rights of a smoker because the smoker affects not only his health but the health of others, " said Damphousse.
Corrections Canada won't comment on the suit other than saying that the law protecting the rights of non-smokers does not apply in prisons. They are considered inmates' homes. . .
The Quebec prison says it's also setting up a non-smoking range for prisoners who don't want to bunk with cellmates who smoke, but won't draw a direct link between the decision and the lawsuit.
Jump to full article »