CAT Orders Tenant to Stop Smoking Cannabis

In the case of MTCC 1002 v. Ruiz, the Tribunal held that a tenant was smoking cannabis in contravention of the condominium corporation’s rules and ordered the tenant to stop smoking cannabis.

The Tribunal also held that the condominium’s Board of Directors had reasonably concluded that the tenant was not entitled to any accommodation due to alleged medical need to smoke cannabis. The Tribunal deferred to the Board’s decision on this issue. Although the tenant had provided a prescription for medical cannabis, the prescription did not contain information about the nature of the disability for which an accommodation may be required, nor did it contain any information to suggest that the tenant had a medical need to smoke cannabis.

The Tribunal said:

When in search for reasonable accommodation, all parties have an obligation to engage and cooperate, meaning that in this case Ms. Ruiz also had a duty to participate in the process and respond to reasonable requests for information that may provide evidence of her needs and what a reasonable accommodation may look like. The evidence in front of me does not suggest that Ms. Ruiz has made any meaningful attempt to participate in the process required when seeking an accommodation.

In my view, this case is helpful for two reasons:  (1) This case again confirms the enforceability of “no smoking” rules (including rules regulating smoking of cannabis); and (2)  This case again sets out the need for a resident to provide reasonable proof and detail if the resident wishes to claim a right to be exempted from a rule as an accommodation for human rights reasons.

There is one other aspect of this decision that I wish to highlight: The condominium corporation did not add the owner of the unit as a respondent to the application. As a result, the Tribunal said: 

…since the owner was not named as a party and not present in the proceeding this would limit the types of orders the Tribunal could make under the Condominium Act, 1998 (“the Act”).

In other words, it’s important to also involve the owner in the process (including any warnings or notices of violation and of course the CAT proceeding itself), if you hope to obtain any orders against the owner (such as an order for recovery of “Pre-CAT” costs from the owner).

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