They say a man’s home is his castle.
But for Lester Mihelic, a resident of Toronto, it's anything but. Condominium Karens want him out because he can't wear a mask due to medical reasons.
Indeed, welcome to the latest episode of Mask Madness!
At Lester's condo towers, the Palace Pier in west Toronto, there is a strict rule mandating that tenants mask-up in all the common areas, and if they plan to make use of the condo’s shuttle bus service.
That’s a big problem for Lester, given that the retired executive is unable to wear a mask due to a bona fide medical condition. Even though the city's bylaws allow for mask exemptions in the case of medical conditions, Palace Pier is demanding he wear one regardless.
Even though Lester is not required to provide proof of his medical condition, he nevertheless did! Back in May 2020, Lester presented the condo board with a letter from his doctor. It clearly states the following:
Some persons cannot wear [face coverings] for medical reason such as asthma, lung disease, etc. that cause them serious medical problems. Mr. Mihelic is in this category and should not be forced to wear any face covering for medical reason.
Despite the doctor's orders being written on plain paper, Lester says the property manager, Donald Bella, has “harassed” both him and his partner (calling her at her place of work). Bella has also called the condo owner, demanding Lester's compliance.
Lester says some of these calls were belligerent and left both his partner and the condo unit owner in tears. In fact, the owner is now contemplating selling the condo, which would mean Lester and his partner would have to relocate.
Even lawyering up has yet to score a victory for Lester. On November 12, his lawyer sent correspondence to the condominium board of Palace Pier, respectfully asking them to back off. The letter reads in part:
Bylaw 541-2020 evidently applies to all owners and operators of commercial residences, despite Mr. Balla’s insistence to the contrary; we have attached a guidance paper from Toronto Public Health clearly stating as such. The pertinent parts of the bylaw which you are in breach of, have been set out for you below. Your Property Manager incorrectly believes that the City’s bylaws do not apply to your Condominium Building. Moreover, Mr. Mihelic evidently falls under 2 [a] as an exempt person from the policy. Despite not having to require proof of any exemption, he has felt the need to do so, to try to reduce the constant barrage of bullying he has been receiving.
Lester’s lawyer has demanded that Bella and other staff respect Lester’s medical exemption and write a personal letter of apology to him. A November 18 deadline came and went without any response from Palace Pier; meanwhile, Donna Bella declined to be interviewed by Rebel News.
Bottom line: Palace Pier would seem to be yet another institution that incorrectly believes that its own policy trumps the rule of law. And now Lester says if the harassment does not stop, he might be forced into filing a civil action against Palace Pier, especially given that he feels he has the law on his side. Stay tuned!