Elderly Kelowna woman's smoking on public street triggers call to police | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Elderly Kelowna woman's smoking on public street triggers call to police

Margaret Morgan likes to be in the shade when she has a puff or two a day but an angry neighbour has turned against her.
September 06, 2019 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA - Margaret Morgan, 79,  moved in June to the Highlands Retirement Residence in Kelowna.

She’s not allowed to smoke in the building so, a couple of times a day, she heads out on her electric scooter to nearby Snowsell Street in Glenmore to have a cigarette and do her word-find puzzles.

On sunny mornings, she’ll cross the road and park in the bicycle lane under a large shade tree. Sometimes she’ll stay there an hour, doing her puzzles or visiting with one of her new friends.

Over the last few weeks, she’s been harangued by a woman living in a house next to the one Morgan smokes in front of. She’s had that woman call Highlands and ask for her to be evicted then went so far as to call the police.

“I thought, 'Holy Hannah, what is this?'” Morgan told iNFOnews.ca.

We only have Morgan’s side of the story since the neighbour refused to talk to iNFOnews.ca and said she did not put up any smoking signs on posts near the road. She made a point of saying there are other people who live in the house, too.

Morgan said she chatted with this woman as she was moving into the house this summer and things seemed cordial.

A couple of weeks ago, that changed dramatically.

“She was hollering at me from her door,” Morgan said. She couldn’t hear what the woman was saying. She could only see the woman making shooing-away motions. The woman came up the driveway, saying the smoke was going into her house and harming her children.

Morgan said the complaints continued for half-an-hour as she refused to move.

Later, there were phone calls to the Highlands manager asking for Morgan to be evicted and signs were put up. One was in the woman’s car, with a picture of a smoker on a cart saying “GO SMOKE SOMEWHERE ELSE” and “CHILDREN PLAY HERE.”

Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Dayleen Vann

“That was the stickler for me,” Morgan said. “How dare she?”

On the advice of her daughter, who said the woman was bullying and harassing her, Morgan called the police. An officer did visit and told her she was doing nothing wrong.

Then, it seems, the woman phoned the police herself. In that case, Morgan said she was asked by the police officer to make his life easier and go further down the road if she wanted to get in the shade. She refused.

“I have not yelled at this woman,” Morgan said. “I’ve done nothing but say ‘get a hobby,’ ‘wash the floor,’ and 'seek professional help.’

Morgan’s daughter - who goes by Dayleen Vann on Facebook – used the Rutland for Safe Neighbourhoods Facebook page to call for a protest at 400 Snowsell St. at 6 p.m. today, Sept. 6. It should be noted Snowsell Street is in Glenmore, not Rutland as the Facebook group might suggest.

“I don’t smoke, but I’m willing to stand there with a bunch of smokers and have a silent protest, smoke-in of sorts, to show this woman for the bully she is,” she posted.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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