Dear Ms Morgan,
We the undersigned appeal to your conscience and common sense to reconsider the eviction of Philipina Schergevitch for her smoking habit.
Philipina is a long-standing tenant of a decade, during which time the Francis Klein Centre has become her home and she has provided the Bishop O'Byrne Housing for Seniors Association a lot of money to live there. At 88 years of age, the stress alone could cause the demise of this lady who has done nothing wrong to deserve such treatment. While the association states smoking is permitted in designated areas outside, it must be recognised that subjugating an elderly woman to the harsh weather conditions Calgary experiences is unacceptable and her human rights must be considered. The argument for the ban is of health, but that is clearly not the case because no harm is posed to other tenants by her smoking and a direct, large and immediate health threat is posed to Philipina through the extreme weather conditions of winter. It is startling to note that the Bishop O’Byrne Housing for Seniors Association deems it acceptable to put tenants at risk of pneumonia, flu, unprecedented stress and the possibility of attack from passers-by under the pretence of “health” and care for other, non-smoking tenants. The Calgary Herald reported in January 2009 the case of Juliette Bombardier, who died outside the Kamloops, B. C. seniors care home the day after Christmas as she went out for a cigarette and got locked out. This was a preventable death and yet the Bishop O’Bryne Housing for Seniors Association is fully prepared to run the risk of its tenants suffering a similar fate.