(photo by Dave Carter at the Guelph Mercury)
The last Ontario business owners fighting for property rights over their businesses by allowing smoking on the premesis are being forced to shut down as the Ontario government begins denying business licenses for infringements of the law.
Clubhouse Donuts, a Guelph business that has been defying smoking by-laws since 2000, has been forced to close its doors as the Ontario government revoked its license to do business.
Still, the spirit of its freedom-fighting owner is not broken. She says that she and her patrons will be fighting their convictions by appealing to a higher court once the fines enter the collections phase.
"I think it infringes on private property rights," said Reid, who has operated the business for 10 years, and watched as its revenues diminished significantly after the smoking laws were introduced. "I think this is an issue about civil rights and civil liberties, and it is a choice that I should have a right to make for myself as a business owner."
Reid said she and her supporters will fight in court the convictions under the local bylaw and Smoke-free Ontario Act charge because they say the smoking laws give the government too much control.
"We see it as the first step in a chain of government control issues," she said. "And that makes us frightened and that's why we are taking a stand."
Unfortunately, not all business owners are as resilient as this woman. The local Windsor heroes sporting these signs shortly after the ban came into effect have since taken them down and their fight for the rights they have over their property has fallen by the wayside. However, these owners still feel strongly about the laws, and I'm told if you get them going, you're in for one heck of a rant before you can leave their store.
Court challenges are likely the last hope for freedom-fighting Ontario businesses. With the level of brainwashing that's taken place regarding tobacco products and use I'm less than optimistic, but it's heartening to see people like Diana Reid standing up for individual rights against all odds.
x-posted to Bureaucrash
h/t: Paul from Blue Blogging Soapbox