Archive for the ‘Other News Articles’ Category

Kelowna motorist fined for driving while holding bowl and chopsticks

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Motorist fined $2,000 for eating while driving

The Province

A provincial court judge has served up a searing decision to a driver in Kelowna who was spotted eating with chopsticks in one hand and a bowl of spinach in the other.

Judge Brian Burgess made the ruling in Kelowna traffic court in August, finding the “egregious” offence took place in the city last November as Corinne Jackson drove past a roadside vehicle enforcement operation.

The RCMP officer who flagged Jackson’s vehicle testified she was travelling at an estimated 60 km/h while “shovelling” food into her mouth with the chopsticks and not once did she place a hand on the wheel during the entire five to six seconds he watched her.

Jackson testified she gave due care and attention to her driving because she was going “no more than 10 km/h over” and had three fingers of her left hand on the steering wheel while holding the bowl with her thumb and index finger.

Burgess rejected Jackson’s testimony as contradictory and criticizes her for the common misconception that 10 km/h over the limit is not speeding, noting the law says even one kilometre an hour over the limit is considered speeding.

Jackson was found guilty of driving without due care and attention and the judge declined to reduce her fine of $2,000 and six penalty points, although the average ticket for the offence is $368.

“Holding a bowl in one hand and using chopsticks in the other hand to eat while driving, even if three fingers of the hand holding the bowl were in contact with the steering wheel, is not giving one’s full attention to driving,” Burgess says in the ruling posted online.

His ruling says he didn’t find that all those who eat while operating a vehicle are operating without due care and attention.

“The minimum standard of a reasonable and prudent person, as implied by the Crown, would be to have at least one full hand on the steering wheel while the vehicle being driven is in motion. The hand that is on the steering wheel should not also be holding some other object.”

Jackson assumed a risk by actively eating while speeding, Burgess says.

“The risk was that Ms. Jackson was betting with her own safety and life and the safety and lives of other users or potential users of the road as she drove her vehicle while both of her hands were holding foreign objects not related to diving and eating at the same time.”

Jackson has been given until the end of October to pay the ticket.

© 2019 REM Real Estate Magazine

Chinede business Magnate Slaughtrs Donald Trump

Monday, August 5th, 2019

Jack Ma

Chinese Business Magnate Jack Ma-s Brilliant Lecture To Donald Trump.

But offers a lessons for the UK economy on investment and infustructer.

View Video

Three groups to submit proposals for Vancouver’s Broadway subway project

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

The groups are Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture, Broadway Connect and West 9th Partners. A proponent will be chosen by mid-2020.

Jennifer Saltman
The Vancouver Sun

The province has chosen three teams to bid on a chance to design, build and finance the Broadway subway in Vancouver.

A request for qualifications closed on April 17.

The $2.83-billion, 5.7-kilometre extension of the Millennium SkyTrain line will run from VCC-Clark Station to the intersection of Broadway and Arbutus and have six stops. Because the project is using SkyTrain technology, it will be built by the provincial government instead of TransLink.

The three teams are: Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture, Broadway Connect and West 9th Partners. It is expected that the province will select a proponent by mid-2020.

Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture includes Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc., Ghella Canada Inc., IBI Professional Services (Canada) Inc., DIALOG BC Architecture Engineering Interior Design Planning Inc., Mott MacDonald Canada Ltd., Ingenieria Especializada de Obra Civil e Industrial, S.A., Parsons Inc. and Corporacion Acciona Infraestructuras, S.L.

Broadway Connect’s team is made up of Dragados Canada, Inc., Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc., ACS Infrastructure Canada, Inc., Aecon Concessions, a division of Aecon Construction Group Inc., Dragados, S.A., Aecon Group Inc., Hatch Ltd., WSP Canada Inc., Dr. G. Sauer & Partners, VIA Architecture, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, a Division of Wood Canada Ltd. and SENER.

West 9th Partners is four divisions of SNC-Lavalin.

The project will be covered by the province’s community benefits agreement, which sets out wages and hiring procedures, requires a percentage of workers to be apprentices, and gives hiring priority to women and Aboriginals.

Early works have already started for the project, including installing new poles and wires to allow for temporary detours for three trolley bus routes during the construction.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2020 and be completed in 2025.

The 5.7-kilometre Broadway subway will run between VCC-Clark and Arbutus in Vancouver, and is budgeted for $2.83 billion. TransLink/File / PNG

© 2019 Postmedia Network Inc.

How companies are de-stressing work forces

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Burnout Nation: How companies are de-stressing workforces

Chris Taylor
The Vancouver Sun

NEW YORK (Reuters) – No matter who you are or what you do, let me take a wild guess: You feel a little burned out right now.

Was I right? If so, you are one of the two-thirds of Americans who report feeling burned out on the job, according to a recent Gallup poll.

That breaks down into 23 percent who are burned out very often or always, and another 44 percent who feel that way sometimes. Those numbers are epidemic.

But they do not surprise Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Adrienne Boissy. When the famed clinic asked its own physicians about burnout, surveying over 1,500 of them, 35 percent reported at least one symptom. Across the nation for physicians it is even worse: a whopping 54 percent, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

“People are feeling like their bucket is empty at the end of the day,” says Boissy, who as the clinic’s chief experience officer is leading the charge to combat employee burnout. “There is an ocean of distress and suffering out there.”

Burnout does not just happen in healthcare, though, with its particularly intense life-or-death environment. It takes place across industries and across regions. Popular YouTuber Lilly Singh even made headlines when she announced she was taking a break to recharge her batteries.

So what exactly is going on, to make everyone feel so depleted? There is no one answer. Rather, a host of factors conspire to make modern workers feel tapped out.

Technology is one. Smartphones now make people accessible 24/7, leading to the expectation that they will be responsive outside of normal office hours. It can develop into a two-shift day: one at the office, one at home.

“All the ways we can get in touch with people these days, puts stress on people about how to balance it all,” says Julie Coffman, a Chicago-based partner with consultants Bain & Co and global head of its organization practice. “It’s exhausting to navigate.”

To their credit, organizations are starting to realize that burnout is in no one’s interest. At the Cleveland Clinic, Boissy and her team have rolled out a number of fixes to help reduce physician burnout. Since much of the problem stems from overwhelming documentation, assistants are now handling more paperwork or refilling prescriptions, so doctors can interact more with patients.

Cleveland Clinic is using innovative solutions like “Code Lavenders,” where dedicated teams help during the painful or traumatic moments that happen every day in a hospital.


Some burnout prevention tips from Bain & Co’s Coffman: Try no-meeting or no-email days to give staffers a break from overscheduling.

Another suggestion is to analyze your employee networks. If everyone wants access to a particular manager, you need to help that manager out with his or her workload.

And remember that it is okay to say no. If you have five project groups demanding your time, go to your supervisor and figure out which are priorities, and which you can pass on.

Changing jobs can also relieve some pressure. Just ask Jane Barratt, who has plenty of experience working in the digital space, where “all anyone could ever talk about was how tired they were.”

When she signed on with financial-data firm MX as its chief advocacy officer, it was like a different world. Dedicated areas for spouses and kids, nap rooms, massage time, big family events like booking movie theaters or taking over theme parks – the list goes on.

As a result, her new venture “does not have the level of exhaustion of other tech companies,” she says. “It’s something I haven’t really seen before.”

All rights reserved SaltWire Network © 2019

Vancouver considering a ban on Bitcoin ATMs ? which police say are ?ideal? for money laundering

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Jen St. Denis

Police have called Bitcoin ATMs “an ideal money-laundering vehicle,” and Vancouver’s mayor has even suggested a ban, but experts and businesses say federal regulation is what’s really needed to rein in a currently unregulated sector.

Unlike other money-service businesses such as automatic teller machines (ATMs) and payday loan companies like Money Mart, cryptocurrency ATMs are not covered by federal anti-money-laundering regulations.

“Vancouver definitely has connections to, unfortunately, digital currencies being used for nefarious purposes,” said Christine Duhaime, a Vancouver lawyer who advises companies on how to avert financial crime and money laundering.

“But on the other side, it also (includes) legitimate businesses where they’re trying to get regulations to operate more legitimately.”

The Vancouver Police Department warned in 2018 and again in February 2019 that both cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency ATMs are being used to commit fraud and would be ideal tools to launder the proceeds of crime.

There are more than 60 cryptocurrency ATMs scattered around Metro Vancouver, according to the website They can be found in coffee shops, convenience stores and shopping malls.

© Copyright Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. 1996 – 2019

The Worst Passwords of 2018

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019


Bad habits die hard, according to SplashData’s eighth annual list of Worst Passwords of the Year. After evaluating more than 5 million passwords leaked on the Internet, the company found that computer users continue using the same predictable, easily guessable passwords. Using these passwords will put anyone at substantial risk of being hacked and having their identities stolen.

While terrible passwords such as “123456” and “password” continue in the #1 and #2 spots, respectively, President Trump debuted on this year’s list with “donald" showing up as the 23 rd most frequently used password.

“Sorry, Mr. President, but this is not fake news – using your name or any common name as a password is a dangerous decision,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, Inc. “Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to- remember combinations.”

Each year, SplashData evaluates millions of leaked passwords to determine which passwords were most used by computer users during that year. Even with the risks well known, many millions of people continue to use weak, easily-guessable passwords to protect their online information. 2018 was the fifth consecutive year that “123456” and “password” retained their top two spots on the list. The next five top passwords on the list are simply numerical strings.

SplashData, provider of password management applications TeamsID, Gpass, and SplashID, releases its annual list in an effort to encourage the adoption of stronger passwords.

“Our hope by publishing this list each year is to convince people to take steps to protect themselves online,” says Slain. “It’s a real head-scratcher that with all the risks known, and with so many highly publicized hacks such as Marriott and the National Republican Congressional Committee, that people continue putting themselves at such risk year-after-year.”

SplashData’s Worst Passwords of 2018


  1. 123456 
  2. password 
  3. 123456789 
  4. 12345678 
  5. 12345 
  6. 111111 
  7. 1234567
  8. sunshine
  9. qwerty 
  10. iloveyou
  11. princess 
  12. admin 
  13. welcome
  14. 666666
  15. abc123 
  16. football
  17. 123123 
  18. monkey 
  19. 654321
  20. [email protected]#$%^&*
  21. charlie 
  22. aa123456  w
  23. donald 
  24. password1 
  25. qwerty123 

SplashData said it estimates almost 10% of people have used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on this year’s list, and nearly 3% of people have used the worst password, 123456.

Copyright ©2019. All Rights Reserved BNP Media.

Questions you can’t ask when hiring

Monday, March 11th, 2019


A recent interview a salesperson conducted with a candidate for a job as his assistant left us speechless. Without naming and shaming, I think a review of what was asked and why it is considered inappropriate is an essential lesson for all of us.

Here are just some of the inappropriate questions asked by different real estate agents to different candidates that we interviewed in the past year:

  • How old are you?
  • What does your husband do for a living?
  • You’re newly married… When are you planning on having children?
  • It’s 5 p.m. and we need to prepare an offer for tonight, but you have to pick up your child from daycare. How do you handle the conflicting priorities?

Relevance is a factor in whether a question is illegal or not. You might think it is essential that your real estate assistant can be at your beck and call days, nights and weekends – so someone with several children might not be your preference. But you cannot ask them about their family status. Ultimately, it’s not up to you to decide that a mother with three kids isn’t suitable for a job that involves weekends. Some requirements to have your assistant available or on call outside of regular work hours might conflict with the Employment Standards Act or their personal life. But we can leave that discussion for another article.

Every province in Canada has its own human rights codes and commissions, but in the area of employment and interviews, they are all fairly consistent. We’ve compiled a list of the questions that you cannot ask, and included ways that those questions can be rephrased, where applicable.

8 questions you should never ask:

1. Don’t ask a candidate about their nationality or citizenship.

Where you were born, unless the job requires security clearance, isn’t relevant to someone’s ability to the do the job.

Do not ask:

  • Are you a Canadian citizen?
  • What’s your native language?
  • Where were you born?

You can ask:

  • Are you legally authorized to work in Canada?
  • What language(s) do you read/speak/write? Note: you can only ask this if it is directly relevant to the job. For example, the ability speak in French might be a requirement of the job because of the client base you’re dealing with. That would make it relevant.
2. Don’t ask a candidate how old they are.

Ageism is real and often it’s more of an unconscious bias that comes into play. As a result, many candidates will go to some length to dissimulate their actual age, for example, by removing dates from the education portion of their CV.

Do not ask:

  • When did you graduate from college or university?
  • What’s your date of birth?

You can ask:

  • Are you over the age of 18?
3. Don’t ask a candidate about their family status.

As mentioned above, asking a candidate whether or not they are married, whether they have children or plan to get married and/or have children is not relevant. It also can’t be a backhanded way to find out if they are a member of the LGBTQ community.

Do not ask:

  • What kind of child-care arrangements do you have set up?
  • How many kids do you have? And if none, do you plan to have some in the near future?
  • Are you married?
  • Whom do you live with?

You can ask:

  • Can you work overtime, evenings and weekends? You have to ask this of every candidate who applies for the position you are interviewing for.
  • There will be travel required for this position, about 10 per cent of the time. Are you willing to do this? Again, you must ask this of every candidate.
  • There’s a possibility that we might relocate the office to the next town. Would this still work for you?
4. Don’t ask a candidate any personal physical questions.

There are some jobs where a person’s height or weight are factors in whether or not they can perform their duties, but not many. For a real estate office, there is no legal basis for asking personal questions like that.

You can ask:

  • “Can you lift 40 lbs. and carry it 100 metres and load it into a truck?” This is the kind of personal question you can ask, if it’s relevant to the job duties AND you ask it of all the candidates.
5. Don’t ask a candidate about their race.

There is no “you CAN ask” for this one because there is no plausible reason to ask anyone, at any time, what race they are. Ever. Not even to satiate your curiosity… not during an interview.

6. Don’t ask a candidate about disabilities.

Unless it’s directly relevant to the tasks, you cannot ask about any disabilities that a candidate might have. From ADHD to being confined to a wheelchair, visible or not, these disabilities are not relevant for most roles.

Do not ask:

  • Have you had any operations in the last X number of years?
  • How often do you get a physical with a primary care physician?
  • Are there congenital illnesses that run in your family?
  • How did you end up in a wheelchair?

You can ask:

  • Here are the job tasks you will be required to do. Can you do them? While a person may need accommodations in order to do the job, the fact of whether or not it’s possible for them is all you need to know. You can deal with the question of what, if any, accommodations they will need AFTER you offer them the job.
7. Don’t ask a candidate about their religion or affiliations, political or social.

There are two things you shouldn’t talk about at dinner parties: politics and religion. Keep to that rule in interviews too! While you might not like someone’s political views or not agree with their religion’s strictures, it has nothing to do with their ability to do the job you are interviewing for.

Do not ask:

  • Are you a member of a political party?
  • Does your religion have holidays that will conflict with our standard office “close dates” schedule?

You can ask:

  • You will need to work on certain Sundays throughout the year. Are you available to do that? As with other questions like this, you must ask it of all candidates.
8. Don’t ask a candidate about their criminal record.

This is one that many people don’t understand, but a person’s arrest/criminal record isn’t necessarily relevant to their job. Asking them generally about whether or not they have ever been arrested and/or convicted of a crime is too broad. Jobs that require dealing with certain groups (like children) typically require a police check, so that will help you deal with this issue in those cases.

You can ask:

  • Have you ever been convicted of XYZ crime? The question must be specific and must be relevant to the job. For example, if you’re hiring a back-office person, you cannot ask them if they’ve ever been convicted of drunk driving. It’s not relevant to the job at hand. You could ask if they’ve ever been convicted of embezzling, but that’s a stretch with most applicants!

Having long experience in what sorts of questions are acceptable, or legal, and what aren’t is a great reason to leverage the services of a recruiter. Worried about what to ask and not ask? No sweat! Ask us for our free interview questions at [email protected].

© 2019 REM Real Estate Magazine

By not claiming CPP until 70, you could get 150 per cent of the income you would receive at 65

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald
The Globe and Mail

By now, Canadians may have heard that there’s a big financial advantage to delaying Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits. The standard figure cited for delaying CPP to the age of 70 is that it increases benefits to 142 per cent of what they would be at 65.

In fact, my own research shows it would bring your benefits to closer to 150 per cent – and nearly 250 per cent of what they would be at the age of 60. Delaying the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) also offers the same advantages.

The math behind the strategy

At 70, the calculation of how much CPP a person gets is based on 142 per cent of a complicated calculation of average Canadian earnings, known as the Maximum Pensionable Earnings Average, which increases with the compounding of inflation and wage growth over those five years – from 65 to 70. Assuming that wages increase by 1.1 per cent ahead of inflation, following what the Chief Actuary of Canada thinks, then that 142 per cent would grow by 1.1 per cent over inflation each year, for five years, to reach about 150 per cent.

What’s more, any “zero” earning years from the age of 65 onward won’t affect the benefit calculation.

Retirement financial risk re-explained

Unlike personal savings, CPP benefits provide a predictable pension. Even if financial markets perform poorly, inflation is high or you live longer than you expect, you can’t outlive your CPP.

One way to appreciate the value of this financial security is to calculate what the retail market price would be. In delaying CPP by five years (from 65 to 70), you are “purchasing” an additional 50 per cent of the CPP benefits at the “cost” of five years of forfeited CPP payments. It would currently cost a 70-year-old man 64 per cent more in the private market to purchase an annuity equal to that provided by CPP. For a woman, the cost is 84-per-cent higher.

If this cost/benefit calculation didn’t capture your attention, consider the financial risk by visualizing your future self. You might want the money now – but you also don’t like the idea of being old and vulnerable.

Imagine you’re among the two-thirds of Canadians who live past the age of 85, possibly with deteriorated health, as more than two-thirds of Canadians are at that age. With a CPP maximum of $13,600 a year, choosing to delay CPP benefits could mean getting up to $6,800 more in secure income each year, which increases with inflation. This reliable extra income can be essential to cover supplemental care, above and beyond the limited government benefits available.

Keep in mind that, at 85, average life expectancy is another eight years. If invested appropriately, could those original five years of forfeited CPP payments have delivered the same level of additional income over such a period? Yes, but you’d need an annual investment return of 9 per cent, after investment fees.

© Copyright 2019 The Globe and Mail Inc.

Building a brewery: Massive Molson Coors plant takes shape in Chilliwack

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Size and visibility of new Chilliwack facility have already made it a local landmark

Glenda Luymes
The Province

You might expect hyperbole in a story about the Molson Coors Canada brewery under construction in Chilliwack.

After all, beer has been known to inspire poetry, while odes to ale remain a popular topic in country music.

But a 400,000-square-foot building requires no embellishment to be extraordinary.

The $200-million Molson Coors brewery, on a 14.5-hectare parcel beside the Trans-Canada Highway, will be the company’s largest brewery in Western Canada. Its size and visibility have already made it a local landmark, as other buildings, including a Best Buy warehouse directly across the highway, look small in comparison.

About seven months ahead of its anticipated opening early next summer, the building was recently closed in with steel panels. The cool, grey interior hums with generators. Bursts of welding sparks catch the eye.

About 100 brew tanks of varying sizes are in place across the space, including the massive fermentation tanks with steel legs buried deep in a concrete slab more than a metre thick. A crack-free concrete floor gleams like a sheet of ice. It’s impossible to track a single pipe through the labyrinth on the ceiling above.

The technical work of connecting the piping and electricity is underway.

“It is an amazing operation,” said Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove. The newly-elected mayor recently toured the brewery. “There’s no down side to this for our city.”

Construction has generated about 1,000 jobs. The brewery will eventually be staffed by about 100 employees. The company says it is still determining how many of those people will come from the soon-to-close Vancouver brewery and how many more positions will need to be filled. Job postings have already started to appear online.

The construction stats are impressive, too. About 1,900 tonnes of steel and 13,000 cubic metres of concrete will be used in the brewery, according to Molson Coors. (In comparison, 13,000 tonnes of structural steel and 157,000 cubic metres of concrete were used in the Port Mann Bridge.)

In May, 50 stainless steel brew tanks arrived at the New Westminster port from China. For the better part of a month, the largest tanks, some of them 5.5 metres in diameter and 18 metres tall, were loaded onto barges and moved up river before being transported by truck across Chilliwack in the middle of the night.

“There was significant complexity to the tank process,” said Matt Hook, chief supply chain officer.

Building a brewery isn’t an everyday occurrence, even for a large company like Molson Coors Canada. Its last big build was in Moncton in 2007, and the next one will likely be Montreal in 2021.

The company’s latest project began in earnest in November 2015 when Molson Coors sold its landmark Vancouver brewery to developer Concord Pacific for a reported $185 million.

The company wanted a new facility west of the Rockies, close to its Port Coquitlam distribution centre and the port of Metro Vancouver, said Hook. But finding a large enough site inside Metro was never going to be easy.

After looking at 30 to 35 different property options, only a handful had the right water, soil and utility infrastructure, said Hook. In August 2016, the company announced Chilliwack as the brewery’s new B.C. home.

It was fitting, in a way. In the 1940s, Chilliwack was the largest hop-growing region in the British Commonwealth until lower U.S. production costs drove operations south. Hop farming is experiencing a resurgence in B.C., driven largely by the craft beer industry. Earlier this month, Molson Coors announced it would be buying local hops for some of its brews, naming two Chilliwack farms and an Abbotsford farm.

To start, the new brewery will produce about the same volume of beer as the Vancouver site — exactly how much is a trade secret, said Hook. It will primarily serve the western Canadian market, brewing, packing and distributing Molson Canadian, Coors Light, Rickards and Granville Island Brewing products and cider in cans, bottles and kegs. Production can be scaled up or down depending on market demand.

Unlike the Vancouver brewery, which rises several stories high, the Chilliwack brewery is on one level, increasing its efficiency. Water and grains enter the building on one side before being pumped through a series of tanks. The mash steeps in a large kettle before hops and yeast are added farther along the line before reaching the giant fermentation tanks. After filtration, the final “bright beer” is bottled, pasteurized and packaged before leaving the building on a pallet.

Making beer requires large quantities water, said Hook. It often takes five or six litres of water to produce one litre of beer. Molson Coors is aiming for a 3:1 water-to-beer ratio.

Despite its impressive scale, the brewery will still be small by international standards. The world’s largest single-site brewery, the Coors brewery in Golden, Colorado, makes 12 to 14 times more beer than the new Chilliwack brewery.

But in Canada, the new brewery can hold its own. It’s a medium-sized facility compared to Montreal and Toronto, but it will supply the western Canadian market, with B.C.’s notable affinity for cans over bottles.

“For all of us, this is a special occasion,” said Hook. “Many people don’t get a chance to be part of something like this in their career. Next year is going to be a very, very important year for us.”

When the first can of beer slides smoothly off the assembly line in early summer, it could be worth a poem — or at least a country song.

Brewery by the numbers

1786 — The year English immigrant John Molson established Canada’s oldest beer brewery on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Montreal

$200 million — Cost of the new Molson Coors brewery in Chilliwack.

400,000 square feet — Size of the brewery

14.5 hectares — Size of the site

1,000 — People employed during construction

100 — People to be employed at the brewery

100 — Tanks to be used in brewing process

18 metres — Height of the large fermentation tanks barged up the Fraser River

675,000 cans of beer — Capacity of each fermentation tank

Three — Litres of water used to make one litre of beer

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc

Going crazy over cannabis

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

Mark Weisleder

I have now given more than 30 seminars about the new Cannabis Act to real estate brokerages, real estate boards and landlord groups. I have interviewed medical cannabis users and growers and spoken to condominium lawyers and insurers. It seems to me that most are fearing the worst, instead of just working towards common sense solutions that will benefit everyone.

Here are six things you need to know:

1. Why do people have to grow cannabis when they can buy it now legally?

The fact is that if you grow the cannabis plant safely and economically, it can cost a fraction of the retail price of a gram of cannabis. For those who have a medical prescription that requires several grams of cannabis per day, growing can actually save thousands of dollars per year.

2. Can condominium boards ban the use or growing of cannabis in a condominium building?

Lawyers will be paid a lot of money to ultimately decide this as a result of human rights and constitutional law issues. This has not stopped countless condominium boards from already implementing rules banning all smoking, grandfathering only those who smoked cigarettes before the rule, and banning any growing of any cannabis plant. Other condominium boards are doing nothing right now and will just step in if one unit owner starts smoking cannabis and bothers their neighbours or damages the unit as a result of growing. This is similar to stepping in if you have wild parties in your unit and it bothers your neighbours.

3. How are condominium boards handling unit owners who have a medical prescription for cannabis?

Here it gets interesting. The boards will permit someone who has a medical prescription to smoke or grow cannabis provided they ensure that all the smoke, odours and moisture generated is kept inside their unit, so as not to bother anyone in the hallways or in neighbouring units or damage the walls with mould.

4. Can you stop a tenant from smoking cannabis or growing cannabis plants?

Even though it is legal to smoke or grow cannabis, you can include a clause in a lease to stop any tenant from smoking or growing cannabis on the premises. This should be inserted into every lease. I have created these clauses that are available in my own Ontario Guide for Landlords. If the tenant then smokes, it will be easier to evict them. But you will still have to prove that the tenant is either bothering other tenants or damaging the property.

5. What is going on with the insurance industry?

Some insurers are threatening to cancel coverage if cannabis plants are grown on the property. This is complete over reacting, since it ignores the fact that we are not talking about a grow house operation and cannabis can be grown safely.

6. It is possible to smoke or grow cannabis safely in an apartment or home without bothering a neighbour or damaging the property?

This is the key point. The answer is yes. If you smoke cannabis using a vaping pen, you can virtually eliminate the smoke and odour. If you use a bong, which operates like a pipe when smoking tobacco, you reduce the odour when you inhale and if you use a device called a “smoke buddy” when you exhale, you again reduce the smoke and the odour. Supplementing this with air fresheners will also assist with eliminating the nuisance altogether.

You can also now buy a special “grow tent” for about $500, that is two feet by two feet and about five-feet high. It just plugs into the wall, absorbs the moisture from the plants and emits warm air into the apartment. No odours and no moisture if set up properly. You grow the plants three-feet high, harvest them and then grow again.

As you can see, this is what the solution must be. Tenants should be able to smoke under the new law, but they must make sure they are doing it in a way that does not bother anyone else, and if they must have an actual marijuana cigarette, just go outside. And if you are going to grow any plant, be upfront and show the landlord how you are doing it safely. This should satisfy not only the landlord, but also any condominium board or insurer who has concerns.

Maybe if you are over-stressed about all of this, just take a puff and relax. It will all work out.

© 2017 REM Real Estate Magazine