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SteveL
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PostSubject: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:13 pm

I live in a high-rise rental apartment building. Every 3 months there is a fire drill, as required by law (according to the notices posted by building management).

I decided to see what the law says.

Frequency of drills: "in buildings within the scope of Subsection 3.2.6. of Division B of the Building Code, fire drills shall be held every three months." (Source: Ontario Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.)

Subsection 3.2.6. of Division B of Ontario's 1992 Building Code Act:

Quote :
"3.2.6. Additional Requirements for High Buildings

"3.2.6.1. Application

"(1) This Subsection applies to a building,

"(a) of Group A, D, E or F major occupancy classification that is more than,

"(i) 36 m high, measured between grade and the floor level of the top storey, or

"(ii) 18 m high, measured between grade and the floor level of the top storey, and in which the cumulative or total occupant load on or above any storey above grade, other than the first storey, divided by 1.8 times the width in metres of all exit stairs at that storey, exceeds 300,

"(b) containing a Group B major occupancy in which the floor level of the highest storey of that major occupancy is more than 18 m above grade,

"(c) containing a floor area or part of a floor area located above the third storey designed or intended as a Group B, Division 2 or 3 occupancy, and

"(d) containing a Group C major occupancy whose floor level is more than 18 m above grade."
Does the "and" at the end of (c) mean that (a), (b), (c), and (d) must all be true for Subsection 3.2.6 to apply to a given building?

If so, the building would have to contain a "Group B major occupancy" (clauses b and c). According to the Building Code Act, Group B major occupancy is a classification that refers to:

Quote :
1.1.2.2(a)(ii) Group B, care or detention occupancies, [emphasis in original]

Some definitions (Building Code Act):

Quote :
"1.4.1.2. Defined Terms

"Care and treatment occupancy (Group B, Division 2) means an occupancy in which persons receive special care and treatment.

"Care occupancy (Group B, Division 3) means an occupancy in which persons receive special or supervisory care because of cognitive or physical limitations, but does not include a dwelling unit.

"Detention occupancy (Group B, Division 1) means an occupancy in which persons are under restraint or are incapable of self preservation because of security measures not under their control.

"Occupancy means the use or intended use of a building or part of a building for the shelter or support of persons, animals or property.

"Major occupancy means the principal occupancy for which a building or part of a building is used or intended to be used, and is deemed to include the subsidiary occupancies that are an integral part of the principal occupancy. [Emphasis in original]

More from the Building Code Act:

Quote :
"3.1.2. Classification of Buildings or Parts of Buildings by Major Occupancy

"3.1.2.1. Classification of Buildings

"(1) Except as permitted by Articles 3.1.2.3. to 3.1.2.6., every building or part of it shall be classified according to its major occupancy as belonging to one of the Groups or Divisions described in Table 3.1.2.1. [see web page]

"(2) A building intended for use by more than one major occupancy shall be classified according to all major occupancies for which it is used or intended to be used.

"3.1.2.2. Occupancies of the Same Classification

"(1) Any building is deemed to be occupied by a single major occupancy, notwithstanding its use for more than one major occupancy, provided that all occupancies are classified as belonging to the same Group classification or, where the Group is divided into Divisions, as belonging to the same Division classification described in Table 3.1.2.1 [omitted].

"3.1.2.3. Arena Type Buildings [omitted]
"3.1.2.4. Police Stations [omitted]

"3.1.2.5. Group B, Division 3 Occupancies

"(1) Group B, Division 3 occupancies are permitted to be classified as Group C major occupancies provided,

"(a) the occupants live as a single housekeeping unit in a suite with sleeping accommodation for not more than 10 persons, and

"(b) not more than 2 occupants require assistance in evacuation in case of an emergency.

"3.1.2.6. Restaurants [omitted]" [Emphasis in original; comments in square brackets are mine]
As far as I know, the building in question is not a "care" or "detention" facility, though there is at least one tenant in a wheelchair. I quoted 3.1.2, which I'm not sure I understand, because it seems to indicate that my building could belong to multiple building/group classifications which could include the dreaded Group B; also, if there are tenants requiring care, the building might not then belong to Group B (see 3.1.2.5).

Thus, it appears that the law does not in fact specify that my building must conduct fire drills every 3 months. The default requirement is once per 12 months.

Is this how you read it?


Last edited by SteveL on Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:20 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Added more info)
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:31 pm

As fars as I know with this kind of crap you assume an (OR) between each section unless the (and) is explicitly added
so
"(a) of Group A, D, E or F major occupancy classification that is more than,

"(i) 36 m high, measured between grade and the floor level of the top storey, or

"(ii) 18 m high, measured between grade and the floor level of the top storey, and in which the cumulative or total occupant load on or above any storey above grade, other than the first storey, divided by 1.8 times the width in metres of all exit stairs at that storey, exceeds 300,

OR

"(b) containing a Group B major occupancy in which the floor level of the highest storey of that major occupancy is more than 18 m above grade,

OR

"(c) containing a floor area or part of a floor area located above the third storey designed or intended as a Group B, Division 2 or 3 occupancy, and

"(d) containing a Group C major occupancy whose floor level is more than 18 m above grade."

I'm sure there is must be a site that gives the gramatical and logic rules for bylaws, but I dare not look at it for that way madness lies.

you probably are required every 3 months, and even if not I bet the rental contract had some provision about following their rules.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:16 pm

kubera wrote:
As fars as I know with this kind of crap you assume an (OR) between each section unless the (and) is explicitly added. […]
There is an explicit "and" at the end of (c).
________

I added more info to the original post.

According to 1.4.1.2, care occupancy (Group B, Division 3) "does not include a dwelling unit." But 3.1.2.5 says that "Group B, Division 3 occupancies are permitted to be classified as Group C major occupancies provided . . . the occupants live as a single housekeeping unit in a suite with sleeping accommodation for not more than 10 persons. . . ." How can there be sleeping accomodations if no "dwelling unit" is included?

And, 3.1.2.1 (2) seems to exclude the building from being classed as Group B because even if there are tenants needing care, it can't constitute a "major occupancy"--unless "part of a building" is given over to care.
________

Interestingly, tenants ignore the fire drill, so it's pointless. Plus, why stand outside in subzero weather for 20-30 minutes? We have better things to do with our time. Also, who's going to forget how to walk out of a building in 3 or 12 months? If the fire were real, things would be different: people would gather belongings. Each unit is equipped with a PA box through which the superintendent announces the drill, and through which a loud alarm sounds for the duration. The cats don't like the noise, and it prevents my own concentration.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:03 am

Yep, OR is correct.

After s.1 you they should have placed a colon or let a blank space, not placed a comma.

s.1 The following apply:

ss. (a)(i) or (ii); or ss.(b); or ss.(c); or ss.(d). *

The subsections (.ss) are a list qualified by s.1. Notice the commas at the end of each subsection (.ss). This is a list. Each .ss can be read and applied separately under s.1. A semi-colon is usually used to denote that one is reading a list, not a comma. They messed up.

It is quite common legalize to find, "; and" to link the penultimate .ss with the last .ss.

You'll have to find their definitions for each term.. They can get odd. An example:

The Criminal Code of Canada'a definition of cattle: "means any neat cattle or an animal of the bovine species by whatever technical or familiar name it is known, and includes any horse, mule, ass, pig, sheep or goat." Pig are cattle in the eys of the law. scratch Very Happy

I go through the same damn thing with the alarm testing. It's annoying. Buy some sound proof material, line a cardboard box with it, or fill it, and place it over the alarm and speaker. When it's inspection time remove the box, then stick it back up when they're done.


*edit: forgot an 's.'
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:23 pm

Welcome to apartment living. Wait until some moron pulls the alarm at 3 a.m. They do the same sort of testing at the mall. Mostly I think they do it so that they can check all the circuits to see if they work in the event of a real fire.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:36 pm

Paul wrote:
Yep, OR is correct.
Okay, but how do you know? The text of the law is what it is. It uses commas (not semi-colons) and an explict "and".

The "or" clearly applies to the 2 subitems i and ii (within 1a). This is likely why these subitems are organized as i and ii. They are "nested" within the greater sentence:

(i or ii) and B and C and D.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:48 pm

I called the Ontario Fire Marshal's office (416-325-3100). (The number isn't on their Website; they want you to fill out an online form.)

The gentleman I spoke with (who dug out his copy of the Building Code) also thought the linking word should be "or", because he doesn't think the multiple Groups in 1a are logically possible; however, I don't see the contradiction. I could tell he is not an expert on the Building Code; I think he was guessing in order to determine why my building has a drill every 3 months.

I then (just now) called the Building and Development Branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (416.585.6666), but there was no answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:52 pm

Paul wrote:
[…]

You'll have to find their definitions for each term.. […]
I did. See above.

Paul wrote:
[…] I go through the same damn thing with the alarm testing. It's annoying. Buy some sound proof material, line a cardboard box with it, or fill it, and place it over the alarm and speaker. When it's inspection time remove the box, then stick it back up when they're done.
Good advice.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:05 pm

Jonathan wrote:
Welcome to apartment living. Wait until some moron pulls the alarm at 3 a.m. They do the same sort of testing at the mall. Mostly I think they do it so that they can check all the circuits to see if they work in the event of a real fire.
No false alarms yet.

Last year, a tenant on our floor did start a fire (unattended cooking). She moved out.

The drill is performed because it is required by law (see post 1).
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:14 pm

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
Yep, OR is correct.
Okay, but how do you know? The text of the law is what it is. It uses commas (not semi-colons) and an explict "and".

The "or" clearly applies to the 2 subitems i and ii (within 1a). This is likely why these subitems are organized as i and ii. They are "nested" within the greater sentence:

(i or ii) and B and C and D.

First, if you look you at the actual text will see that the letters (a), (b), (c), and (d) are aligned left under s.1 to indicate they are separate but part of a list under s.1. Only in clause (a) do we find the ss. (a)(i) and (a)(ii), which should, in the original document, be indented under Clause (a).

Again, like most Codes, this is code badly written, but the inherent form is consistent with all the legal documents I read.

Second, read each Clause (or a Clause with its subsections) in isolation. The each stand alone.

Third, as I noted above, "; and" is used in legalize to indicate the penultimate ss. or Clause. In this case, ",and" serves the same purpose. Note that the last Clause possesses the period denoting the end of the Section. A period indicates the list is finished. Legal punctuation is nightmarish.

Fourth, if a Section wants to directly connects Clauses, such as (c) and (d), they will add Clause (e) to indicate that connection.

Here is clear, simple list to demonstrate the use commas indicating the conditional "or" and the penultimate ",and"

3.2.4.3. Types of Fire Alarm Systems

(1)A fire alarm system shall be,

(a) a single stage system in a Group F, Division 1 occupancy,

(b) a 2 stage system in a Group B occupancy other than those described in Clause (c),

(c) a single or 2 stage system in a building 3 storeys or less in building height that contains a Group B, Division 3 occupancy,

(d) a single stage system in elementary and secondary schools, except for a special needs facility, and

(e) a single or 2 stage system in all other cases.

Clause (e) though proceeded by "and," clearly reads, "[or]…in all other cases."

Each Clause, like your section above, stands alone under the Section unless otherwise indicated e.g. see Clause (b) for qualifiers located in Clause (c).

When I mentioned definitions in my previous post, I was referring to your post concerning, "dwelling units."

The description of a dwelling unit:

"Dwelling unit means a suite operated as a housekeeping unit, used or intended to be used as a domicile by one or more persons and usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities."

Note the words, "intended" and "usually." Pigs are cattle, and dwelling units 'usually,' but not always have sanitarily facilities. Sigh.

So…

"Major occupancy means the principal occupancy for which a building or part of a building is used or intended to be used, and is deemed to include the subsidiary occupancies that are an integral part of the principal occupancy."

There's the damn word intended again. Also note the word, "deemed." Combine the two definitions above and you may find your answer to the definitions of sleeping accommodations.

As I wrote before, it's badly written minefield. Keep calling, you may finally get a clear answer sans legalize. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:43 pm

Paul wrote:
[…]

First, if you look you at the actual text will see that the letters (a), (b), (c), and (d) are aligned left under s.1 to indicate they are separate but part of a list under s.1. Only in clause (a) do we find the ss. (a)(i) and (a)(ii), which should, in the original document, be indented under Clause (a). […]
Agreed: 1(a)(i) and (ii) are linked by an "or", for only one of them needs to be true in order to render the entirety of 1(a) as true. This supports the interpretation of the other clauses as being linked with an "and" (or at least doesn't assume that the overall linking term is "or"); otherwise, there's no purpose in segregating 1(a) into two "or"-linked clauses.

If the intent were to link all the clauses with "or"s, the whole thing could have been written differently. In the example below I made 1(a)(i) into 1(a), 1(a)(ii) into 1(b), and shifted 1(b-c) down to 1(d-e):

Quote :
"3.2.6. Additional Requirements for High Buildings

"3.2.6.1. Application

"(1) This Subsection applies to a building,

"(a) of Group A, D, E or F major occupancy classification that is more than 36 m high, measured between grade and the floor level of the top storey,

"(b) of Group A, D, E or F major occupancy classification that is more than 18 m high, measured between grade and the floor level of the top storey, and in which the cumulative or total occupant load on or above any storey above grade, other than the first storey, divided by 1.8 times the width in metres of all exit stairs at that storey, exceeds 300,

"(c) containing a Group B major occupancy in which the floor level of the highest storey of that major occupancy is more than 18 m above grade,

"(d) containing a floor area or part of a floor area located above the third storey designed or intended as a Group B, Division 2 or 3 occupancy, or

"(e) containing a Group C major occupancy whose floor level is more than 18 m above grade."

Paul wrote:
[…]

Second, read each Clause (or a Clause with its subsections) in isolation. The each stand alone. […] Each Clause, like your section above, stands alone under the Section unless otherwise indicated e.g. see Clause (b) for qualifiers located in Clause (c). […]
Not sure what you mean, or how it helps us determine whether the "and" at the end of 1(c) is mistaken.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Third, as I noted above, "; and" is used in legalize to indicate the penultimate ss. or Clause. In this case, ",and" serves the same purpose. Note that the last Clause possesses the period denoting the end of the Section. A period indicates the list is finished. […]
This is basic English, no?

Paul wrote:
[…]

Fourth, if a Section wants to directly connects Clauses, such as (c) and (d), they will add Clause (e) to indicate that connection. […]
But subsection 3.2.6. isn't written that way, so I don't see what you're getting at.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Here is clear, simple list to demonstrate the use commas indicating the conditional "or" and the penultimate ",and"

3.2.4.3. Types of Fire Alarm Systems

(1)A fire alarm system shall be,

(a) a single stage system in a Group F, Division 1 occupancy,

(b) a 2 stage system in a Group B occupancy other than those described in Clause (c),

(c) a single or 2 stage system in a building 3 storeys or less in building height that contains a Group B, Division 3 occupancy,

(d) a single stage system in elementary and secondary schools, except for a special needs facility, and

(e) a single or 2 stage system in all other cases.

Clause (e) though proceeded by "and," clearly reads, "[or]…in all other cases." […]
I don't understand what you're trying to show me. I can create a construction to show an implicit "and":

1. A bicycle has
(a) two wheels,
(b) a seat,
(c) handlebars, and
(d) brakes.

We can verify the sample construction because we know what a bicycle is, but this doesn't help with 3.2.6. because we don't know what the author was trying to say. We have only what is written: an explicit "and".

In the case of 3.2.6., the word "and" and its context is unambiguous to me, perhaps because of my programming experience with Boolean logic.

What I want to know from you is, where do you get the "or", damnit?
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:46 pm

Paul wrote:
[…]

As I wrote before, it's badly written minefield. Keep calling, you may finally get a clear answer sans legalize. :P
I got an email from John Gryffyn, P.Eng., Co-ordinator - Code Advisory Section of the (provincial) Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Building and Development Branch, advising me (in response to my request for the building classification where I live) to contact "the local municipality who is responsible for the enforcement of the code". He writes, "Under the Building Code Act, the local municipality is the authority having jurisdiction for enforcing the Act and its Regulations, and you should contact the appropriate building official with respect to any specific proposal."

So I called the city's Building Division (North York District) at 416-395-7000. The woman I spoke with thinks the text is in error and that the linking word should be "or". I can't remember if she had a reason for thinking this.

She said I should call the province to verify, so I called Mr. Gryffyn. He says the law is correctly written but should be interpreted to mean "or"--not realizing the contradiction. He also misunderstood me, thinking that I was trying to use the law to deny that my building is a high-rise (1(d) says, "containing a Group C major occupancy whose floor level is more than 18 m above grade.") He says the clauses in 3.2.6. can't all apply to a single building, but I don't see why: they are not exclusive or contradictory. Then he said that if the "and" were indeed an "and" (we're now in Kafka land), building owners would use it to evade the law--completely missing the point.

He said a committee spent many hours writing the law, which of course doesn't mean anything. He said the municipalities interpret the law and that I should get a lawyer if I want to understand it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:00 pm

Anyone know a lawyer? Unfortunately, the only lawyer I know well enough to ask an opinion of died last year.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:18 pm

if you wanna free opinion on fire regs call the the fire department, they should have a legal dept.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:21 pm

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
[…]

First, if you look you at the actual text will see that the letters (a), (b), (c), and (d) are aligned left under s.1 to indicate they are separate but part of a list under s.1. Only in clause (a) do we find the ss. (a)(i) and (a)(ii), which should, in the original document, be indented under Clause (a). […]

Agreed: 1(a)(i) and (ii) are linked by an "or", for only one of them needs to be true in order to render the entirety of 1(a) as true. This supports the interpretation of the other clauses as being linked with an "and" (or at least doesn't assume that the overall linking term is "or"); otherwise, there's no purpose in segregating 1(a) into two "or"-linked clauses.

If the intent were to link all the clauses with "or"s, the whole thing could have been written differently. In the example below I made 1(a)(i) into 1(a), 1(a)(ii) into 1(b), and shifted 1(b-c) down to 1(d-e):

Unfortunately, that is not the way the law or the codes I read are written.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Second, read each Clause (or a Clause with its subsections) in isolation. The each stand alone. […] Each Clause, like your section above, stands alone under the Section unless otherwise indicated e.g. see Clause (b) for qualifiers located in Clause (c). […]

SteveL wrote:

Not sure what you mean, or how it helps us determine whether the "and" at the end of 1(c) is mistaken.

This was an example that indicates, "and, or, in case, etc..." within a clause--a direct indication that this particular clause has modifiers, and does not stand alone.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Third, as I noted above, "; and" is used in legalize to indicate the penultimate ss. or Clause. In this case, ",and" serves the same purpose. Note that the last Clause possesses the period denoting the end of the Section. A period indicates the list is finished. […]
SteveL wrote:
This is basic English, no?

Yes.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Fourth, if a Section wants to directly connects Clauses, such as (c) and (d), they will add Clause (e) to indicate that connection. […]
SteveL wrote:
But subsection 3.2.6. isn't written that way, so I don't see what you're getting at.

If they want to connect two or more clauses directly, the convention is to add another clause to make that connection clear, much like the embedded clause noted above. This wasn't done in your case, making the ",and" an indication of the penultimate clause.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Here is clear, simple list to demonstrate the use commas indicating the conditional "or" and the penultimate ",and"

3.2.4.3. Types of Fire Alarm Systems

(1)A fire alarm system shall be,

(a) a single stage system in a Group F, Division 1 occupancy,

(b) a 2 stage system in a Group B occupancy other than those described in Clause (c),

(c) a single or 2 stage system in a building 3 storeys or less in building height that contains a Group B, Division 3 occupancy,

(d) a single stage system in elementary and secondary schools, except for a special needs facility, and

(e) a single or 2 stage system in all other cases.

Clause (e) though proceeded by "and," clearly reads, "[or]…in all other cases." […]

SteveL wrote:

I don't understand what you're trying to show me. I can create a construction to show an implicit "and":

1. A bicycle has
(a) two wheels,
(b) a seat,
(c) handlebars, and
(d) brakes.

We can verify the sample construction because we know what a bicycle is, but this doesn't help with 3.2.6. because we don't know what the author was trying to say. We have only what is written: an explicit "and".

In the case of 3.2.6., the word "and" and its context is unambiguous to me, perhaps because of my programming experience with Boolean logic.

What I want to know from you is, where do you get the "or", damnit?

I provided you with a clear example using commas and ",and" where it clearly reads "or." You seem resistant to accept the notion that commas and ",and" can mean anything else but ",and."

Remember, the law is written to include both the the broadest and narrowest possible interpretations to permit flexibility, so ambiguous language is often found. For instance, s.7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms--the standard for all legal rights--uses the phrase the, "principles of fundamental justice." This phrase, the cornerstone of legal rights in Canada, has no definition.

Oscar Wilde said, "the law is an ass," for a reason.

Good luck with the lawyer. My building's fire alarm testing begins this Thursday morning, and will last until Friday afternoon. I must remember to take down my cardboard, soundproof box.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:44 pm

Paul wrote:
[…]

SteveL wrote:
[…]

What I want to know from you is, where do you get the "or", damnit?
I provided you with a clear example using commas and ",and" where it clearly reads "or." […]
I don't understand your example. Would you please simplify it?

Paul wrote:
[…]

You seem resistant to accept the notion that commas and ",and" can mean anything else but ",and." […]
It's true: I do read "and" as "and". If "and" doesn't mean "and" there'd better be a reason, by cracky--something no one has provided. In fact, no one has overcome the obvious problem that words like "and" don't need to be interpreted at all, unless you're Bill Clinton arguing about the meaning of "is". You've said that other laws use "and" to mean "or", but I am skeptical because "and" simply does not equal "or" (Q.E.D., I say), and for all I know you could be wrong about those other laws (feel free to bring in those examples if they prove your point without muddying the waters). You also said that a sentence can be written with the logical operator "and" that has the meaning of the logical operator "or", but even if this were possible, what of it? In order to show that 3.2.6. is written this way, you'd have to know what the law actually means, but how can you know what it means apart from the language used? It appears to be question-begging, unless I misunderstand you.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Remember, the law is written to include both the the broadest and narrowest possible interpretations to permit flexibility, so ambiguous language is often found. […]
My understanding is that, to avoid ambiguity, the law is supposed to be written in the narrowest possible manner. Isn't legalese hard to read precisely because it tries to close all loopholes in its quest for unambiguity?

Paul wrote:
[…]

For instance, s.7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms--the standard for all legal rights--uses the phrase the, "principles of fundamental justice." This phrase, the cornerstone of legal rights in Canada, has no definition. […]
It seems that precision was a goal of the Building Code but not of the Charter (or that portion of it). Are you saying that the word "and" was used in the Building Code to be deliberately vague? I don't believe that. If you're saying something else, please correct me.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Oscar Wilde said, "the law is an ass," for a reason. […]
Would you care to make a wager on the veracity of your statement?

Paul wrote:
[…]

Good luck with the lawyer. My building's fire alarm testing begins this Thursday morning, and will last until Friday afternoon. I must remember to take down my cardboard, soundproof box.
It's possible that Ontario high-rise owners are conducting 4 times more fire drills than the law requires, seemingly because no one has read or questioned the law. This makes me think of the emperor's new clothes: is no one is willing to speak the truth for fear of standing out and retroactively looking foolish? Something is wrong when people can't agree on the meaning of a simple conjunction. Reading words that aren't there is a bit like Winston Smith actually seeing that 2 X 2 = 5 when under electrical duress. On the other hand, it's possible that my obtuseness is getting in the way--but then it should be a simple matter to clear it up. In fact, I expected to be wrong on this; I just don't see where.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:46 pm

kubera wrote:
if you wanna free opinion on fire regs call the the fire department, they should have a legal dept.
True, except that 3.2.6. is part of the Building Code. I might call them anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:42 pm

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
[…]

SteveL wrote:
[…]

What I want to know from you is, where do you get the "or", damnit?
I provided you with a clear example using commas and ",and" where it clearly reads "or." […]
I don't understand your example. Would you please simplify it?

If you cannot understand the simple example I provided with, "Types of Fire Alarm Systems" there is nothing more I can do to help you. It is straightforward. Each Clause clearly reads as "or" not "and." Each Clause stands alone despite the commas and the ",and."

Paul wrote:
[…]

You seem resistant to accept the notion that commas and ",and" can mean anything else but ",and." […]

SteveL wrote:


It's true: I do read "and" as "and". If "and" doesn't mean "and" there'd better be a reason, by cracky--something no one has provided. In fact, no one has overcome the obvious problem that words like "and" don't need to be interpreted at all, unless you're Bill Clinton arguing about the meaning of "is". You've said that other laws use "and" to mean "or", but I am skeptical because "and" simply does not equal "or" (Q.E.D., I say), and for all I know you could be wrong about those other laws (feel free to bring in those examples if they prove your point without muddying the waters). You also said that a sentence can be written with the logical operator "and" that has the meaning of the logical operator "or", but even if this were possible, what of it? In order to show that 3.2.6. is written this way, you'd have to know what the law actually means, but how can you know what it means apart from the language used? It appears to be question-begging, unless I misunderstand you.

I could provide with you with numerous examples, however you do not want to accept the convention. One simple illustration, mentioned above, should have been adequate. The convention of commas meaning "or" and ",and" meaning "or" is well-established. In fact, I was reading the laws concerning bail last night, and they used the same convention in question, though they clearly mean "or." In other words, each Clause in the Section did not need to be satisfied to meet the conditions of bail, merely one of the list provided.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Remember, the law is written to include both the the broadest and narrowest possible interpretations to permit flexibility, so ambiguous language is often found. […]
SteveL wrote:
My understanding is that, to avoid ambiguity, the law is supposed to be written in the narrowest possible manner. Isn't legalese hard to read precisely because it tries to close all loopholes in its quest for unambiguity?

Both interpretations are necessary to allow the law to change. Laws are not stagnant. They are written to reflect the need for flexibility. The definition of cattle above was an example of a broad interpretation. Yet one could challenge the notion that pigs, horses, and goats do not qualify as neat cattle or an animal of the bovine species, or that llamas do qualify.

If the law was written with perfect clarity then you wouldn't have your current difficulty understanding the Section in question. Indeed, clarity of ambiguous language in the law has often lead to that law being changed, or a new Clause being added.

Paul wrote:
[…]

For instance, s.7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms--the standard for all legal rights--uses the phrase the, "principles of fundamental justice." This phrase, the cornerstone of legal rights in Canada, has no definition. […]

SteveL wrote:

It seems that precision was a goal of the Building Code but not of the Charter (or that portion of it). Are you saying that the word "and" was used in the Building Code to be deliberately vague? I don't believe that. If you're saying something else, please correct me.

The code you have cited was written badly, as I have stated several times. Deliberate, no. Did they use established conventions, yes.

Paul wrote:
[…]

Oscar Wilde said, "the law is an ass," for a reason. […]
SteveL wrote:
Would you care to make a wager on the veracity of your statement?

Written in haste: Dickens, Oliver Twist, "the law is a ass." Correct?

Paul wrote:
[…]

Good luck with the lawyer. My building's fire alarm testing begins this Thursday morning, and will last until Friday afternoon. I must remember to take down my cardboard, soundproof box.

SteveL wrote:

It's possible that Ontario high-rise owners are conducting 4 times more fire drills than the law requires, seemingly because no one has read or questioned the law. This makes me think of the emperor's new clothes: is no one is willing to speak the truth for fear of standing out and retroactively looking foolish? Something is wrong when people can't agree on the meaning of a simple conjunction. Reading words that aren't there is a bit like Winston Smith actually seeing that 2 X 2 = 5 when under electrical duress. On the other hand, it's possible that my obtuseness is getting in the way--but then it should be a simple matter to clear it up. In fact, I expected to be wrong on this; I just don't see where.

You could be entirely right about the law regarding the number of fire alarm drills required. Get a lawyer, find out if you have a case, and challenge the code. A number of citizens have made things better for our society by having a law or code clarified. It just requires time and effort. I wish you luck in your endeavour.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:33 pm

I like your point about the vagueness of the Charter. It's worth investigating.

Speaking of the Constitution . . .

In the fall of 2005 I happened to find myself eating breakfast alone with Roy Romanow, the politician. Heather and I were staying at a 19th century house in Kingston, Ontario that was serving as a bed-and-breakfast hotel. On that particular morning, only Romanow and I were seated at the dining room table.

We chatted about various things, but neither of us mentioned politics. I didn't want to spoil his leisure time with an exploration of his ideas, and I think of myself as well-rounded enough to converse on any number of topics. But had I known that, in 1981, Romanow, along with Jean Chrétien and Roy McMurtry, "worked out the final details of Canada's new constitution, resulting in the famous late-night Kitchen Accord" [Wikipedia], and that Romanow opposed the inclusion of property rights, he would have faced a bit of a grilling from yours truly.


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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:46 pm

Paul wrote:
SteveL wrote:
I don't understand your example. Would you please simplify it?
If you cannot understand the simple example I provided with, "Types of Fire Alarm Systems" there is nothing more I can do to help you. It is straightforward. Each Clause clearly reads as "or" not "and." Each Clause stands alone despite the commas and the ",and."
Okay, you’ve shamed me into taking another look:

Paul wrote:
Here is clear, simple list to demonstrate the use commas indicating the conditional "or" and the penultimate ",and"

Quote :
3.2.4.3. Types of Fire Alarm Systems

(1)A fire alarm system shall be,

(a) a single stage system in a Group F, Division 1 occupancy,

(b) a 2 stage system in a Group B occupancy other than those described in Clause (c),

(c) a single or 2 stage system in a building 3 storeys or less in building height that contains a Group B, Division 3 occupancy,

(d) a single stage system in elementary and secondary schools, except for a special needs facility, and

(e) a single or 2 stage system in all other cases.
Clause (e) though proceeded by "and," clearly reads, "[or]…in all other cases."

Each Clause, like your section above, stands alone under the Section unless otherwise indicated e.g. see Clause (b) for qualifiers located in Clause (c).
SS 3.2.6.1. of the law resolves, as a whole, to a single true/false value according to whether its criteria are met. These criteria (clauses a-d) are individually true or false, and are linked to each other with logical operators. If these operators are "and", the overall sentence is false unless each and every constituent clause is true. If the operators are "or", the overall sentence is true unless every clause is false. Thus, the sentence itself is either true or false.

Conversely, your example is a series of independent statements (this may be what you meant by the clauses standing alone and when you characterized them as a “list”). Because they are independent, they do not have a logical relationship to each other and they do not collectively resolve to a single overall Boolean value. Therefore, they are not joined with logical operators at all, let alone whether they’re “and” or “or”. I re-worded your example to reflect this and to weed out the logically meaningless “and”:

Quote :
A building of Group F, Division 1 occupancy must have a single stage system. Elementary and secondary schools without special needs facilities must have a single stage system. A building of Group B, Division 3 occupancy of more than three storeys must have a 2-stage system. A building of Group B, Division 1 or 2 occupancy must have a 2-stage system. All other buildings must have a single or 2-stage system.
Because the absence of logical operators hasn’t changed the meaning of your example, they can be discounted entirely. Thus, your example does not apply to the question of the meaning of the logical operators in SS 3.2.6.1.

Paul wrote:
The convention of commas meaning "or" and ",and" meaning "or" is well-established […] I could provide with you with numerous examples, however you do not want to accept the convention. One simple illustration, mentioned above, should have been adequate.
A made-up example can’t possibly show that a convention exists. That would require real laws and expert opinion.

Paul wrote:
In fact, I was reading the laws concerning bail last night, and they used the same convention in question, though they clearly mean "or." In other words, each Clause in the Section did not need to be satisfied to meet the conditions of bail, merely one of the list provided.
I’m interested in seeing this.

Paul wrote:

SteveL wrote:

My understanding is that, to avoid ambiguity, the law is supposed to be written in the narrowest possible manner. Isn't legalese hard to read precisely because it tries to close all loopholes in its quest for unambiguity?
Both interpretations are necessary to allow the law to change.
This amounts to a truism since any given law can be described as either broad or narrow. All-inclusive criteria are meaningless; it’d be like saying that in order to qualify for something a candidate must either have hair or be hairless. Your point requires two things: an example of a law that isn’t narrow or broad, and an explanation of why that quality prevents it from being changed.

Paul wrote:
If the law was written with perfect clarity then you wouldn't have your current difficulty understanding the Section in question.
I don’t think I have a difficulty understanding what is written. My problem is why other people think a common word doesn’t mean what it means. I believe they are trying to retroactively justify what they assume to be true (i.e., that the law prescribes a fire drill every three months for all high-rises) despite the evidence of their own eyes.

I suspect they disregard their own understanding of the English language because it’s easier to go along with the status quo and because the human ability to quell cognitive dissonance through rationalization is infinite. After all, everyone thinks of himself as reasonable, and no reasonable person wants to admit that his efforts are based on error. Something has to give. My inquiries probably generated dissonance in their minds between what the law actually says versus what they have been told it says, and they rectified this discrepancy by denying to themselves that there is a problem. Furthermore, their genuine belief that they are right is likely bolstered by their perception of themselves as professionals and by my status as a mere outsider.

(Not everyone has rejected plain English, however: one government employee thought the “and” is erroneous, as mentioned above; another, who is a friend employed by a different bureaucracy, and whose views usually differ from mine, agrees with my reading of the law.)

Paul wrote:

SteveL wrote:

Paul wrote:
Oscar Wilde said, "the law is an ass," for a reason.
Would you care to make a wager on the veracity of your statement?
Written in haste: Dickens, Oliver Twist, "the law is a ass." Correct?
Yes (there goes my chance for a quick cash profit.). I myself thought it was Shakespeare until I looked it up.

Paul wrote:
You could be entirely right about the law regarding the number of fire alarm drills required. Get a lawyer, find out if you have a case, and challenge the code. A number of citizens have made things better for our society by having a law or code clarified. It just requires time and effort. I wish you luck in your endeavour.
Thanks. If expert opinion bears out my contention, I’ll have to decide what, if anything, to do about it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:00 pm

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
SteveL wrote:
I don't understand your example. Would you please simplify it?
If you cannot understand the simple example I provided with, "Types of Fire Alarm Systems" there is nothing more I can do to help you. It is straightforward. Each Clause clearly reads as "or" not "and." Each Clause stands alone despite the commas and the ",and."
Okay, you’ve shamed me into taking another look:

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
Here is clear, simple list to demonstrate the use commas indicating the conditional "or" and the penultimate ",and" […]
SS 3.2.6.1. of the law resolves, as a whole, to a single true/false value according to whether its criteria are met. These criteria (clauses a-d) are individually true or false, and are linked to each other with logical operators. If these operators are "and", the overall sentence is false unless each and every constituent clause is true. If the operators are "or", the overall sentence is true unless every clause is false. Thus, the sentence itself is either true or false.

Conversely, your example is a series of independent statements (this may be what you meant by the clauses standing alone and when you characterized them as a “list”). Because they are independent, they do not have a logical relationship to each other and they do not collectively resolve to a single overall Boolean value. Therefore, they are not joined with logical operators at all, let alone whether they’re “and” or “or”. I re-worded your example to reflect this and to weed out the logically meaningless “and”:

The example, as I noted, was only provided to demonstrate the conventional use of commas and the penultimate ", and", where the conventions clearly reads as "or." In addition, this was an example of a slightly better written section than the one you cited. I satisfied both these requirements with my example. The commas and "and ," read as, "or."

To this end, you re-wrote the section (below) and removed the, "logically meaningless ', and'" and the commas. You removed the logically meaningless conventions for utmost clarity. Understandable and, in turn, highlights my points concerning the use of legal conventions in both your .ss and my example. They both use the convention badly.

If the law is properly written, purely independent clauses (statements) end with periods (which is what you have done below). If they are part of a list, the usual legal convention is to use semicolons and, "; or" in the penultimate clause, though "; and" is also used. Moreover, if section has .ss (i), (ii), (iii), etc…, those subsections will use commas, and end with "; or" or ", and."

The section you have cited is sloppily written, no argument. Does it mean "and" at this point? No. Your conversation with the woman at the Buildings Division and Mr. Gryffyn's confirmation, indicate the subsection reads as "or."

SteveL wrote:
A building of Group F, Division 1 occupancy must have a single stage system. Elementary and secondary schools without special needs facilities must have a single stage system. A building of Group B, Division 3 occupancy of more than three storeys must have a 2-stage system. A building of Group B, Division 1 or 2 occupancy must have a 2-stage system. All other buildings must have a single or 2-stage system.

Because the absence of logical operators hasn’t changed the meaning of your example, they can be discounted entirely. Thus, your example does not apply to the question of the meaning of the logical operators in SS 3.2.6.1.

See above regarding the logically meaningless ", and." the use of commas, as well as your re-write.

Again, you asked how one could read "or" where the .ss used commas and the penultimate ", and". I provided an example. Though your .ss reads badly, it is the convention they have used for both sections.

One last kick at the can….

In .ss 3.2.6.1, must a building meet all the requirements listed in Clauses (a), (b), (c), and (d), or, for example, can a building contain a group C major occupancy without satisfying all of the criteria set-out in the other Clauses, and still be legally bound by .ss 3.2.6.1?

Here is one of the Clauses written clearly:

"This Subsection applies to a building containing a Group C major occupancy whose floor level is more than 18 m above grade."

Is the above legally binding to the .ss in question? Can the above stand alone? If the answer is yes, each Clause can be read independently of the other Clauses. Write out each Clause, and sub-clause this way, for fun. It's much easier to read.

If one can read the the Clauses in the .ss this way, without satisfying all the other criteria in the other clauses in the .ss, each clause in the .ss reads as 'or."

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
The convention of commas meaning "or" and ",and" meaning "or" is well-established […] I could provide with you with numerous examples, however you do not want to accept the convention. One simple illustration, mentioned above, should have been adequate.
A made-up example can’t possibly show that a convention exists. That would require real laws and expert opinion.

I would never invent an example. I have more than enough case-law and legal discourse within arm's reach.

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
In fact, I was reading the laws concerning bail last night, and they used the same convention in question, though they clearly mean "or." In other words, each Clause in the Section did not need to be satisfied to meet the conditions of bail, merely one of the list provided.
I’m interested in seeing this.

Of course. Though as I indicated in an earlier post, one commonly finds semicolons in the Criminal Code of Canada. The Code is written much better than the trash cited in this thread. Clear language and the use of semicolons makes interpretation somewhat easier. Most of the old examples have been cleaned-up. However, reading the laws concerning bail and pre-sentence custody lead me to this subsection (Lifting of Prohibition order for Sustenance or Employment--):

"s. 113(2) A competent authority may make an order under subsection (1) only after taking the following factors into account;

(a) the criminal record, if any, of the person;
(b) the nature and circumstances of the offences, if any, in which respect the prohibitive order was or will be made; and
(c) the safety of the person and of other persons."

Not all three criteria of this .ss must be met, one is sufficient. Note the use of "; and" despite it meaning "or." The same interpretation applies to the semicolon following .ss 113(2)(a). Why does it read as "or?" Note the ambiguity in the introduction concerning the, "following factors." Does it mean all the factors? Two of the factors? Is .ss (c) more important than the other two? Pay close attention to the key words, "if any." They apply only to s. 113(2)(a) and (b). Hence, there could be no criminal record or offences to consider, but the, "safety of the person or other persons" would permit the authority to make an order under .ss (1) based solely on .ss 113(2)(c). There is no question that the conventional use of the semicolon and the "; and" in this section reads as "or."

Satisfied, or must I continue this exercise ad nauseam?

Paul wrote:
SteveL wrote:

My understanding is that, to avoid ambiguity, the law is supposed to be written in the narrowest possible manner. Isn't legalese hard to read precisely because it tries to close all loopholes in its quest for unambiguity?
Both interpretations are necessary to allow the law to change.

SteveL wrote:
This amounts to a truism since any given law can be described as either broad or narrow. All-inclusive criteria are meaningless; it’d be like saying that in order to qualify for something a candidate must either have hair or be hairless. Your point requires two things: an example of a law that isn’t narrow or broad, and an explanation of why that quality prevents it from being changed.

You are the one questioning ambiguity in the law. I am not. I wrote that the law is written to reflect the need for flexibility. Though the written law may appear straightforward at first glance, myriad interpretations abound.

Arguments about the law often concern ambiguous language. Often challenges and new laws attempt to narrow and refine the meaning of the law. In turn, this is why so many important laws have tests which must be passed in order to determine if one is subject to that particular law e.g. murder (well, technically, we'd start with the legal causation tests, then the tests to determine if the accused either by means of an unlawful act or by criminal negligence caused the death, and finally the tests for murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter).

Here's part of a summation written by Charron J.A., for the court, in R. v. Fice:

"It is my view that the language of s. 742.1 and s. 719(3) is not ambiguous and that it does allow the sentencing judge to take into count pre-sentence custody in determining the range of sentence under the conditional sentence regime. However, even if one were to conclude that these provisions are ambiguous as to the proper role of pre-sentence custody in the conditional sentencing context, the result should be the same. Where the provisions in penal statutes affecting the liberty of a person are ambiguous, the proper approach is to interpret the legislation in a manner favourable to the accused." [My italics].

This summation of these laws were written at, roughly, the forty-year point of the arguments concerning pre-sentence custody. This summation--the majority opinion-- was written regarding the laws as interpreted in Ontario. Though influential, this interpretation was not voiced or endorse by the Supreme Court of Canada. Consequently, other interpretations by other provinces' justices are still legally valid. Indeed, the interpretation of these sections can vary wildly depending on which provincial interpretation one reads. Moreover, each justice may have their own interpretation, which is why, in major cases, the dissenting opinion is always provided.

So, to answer your question the law is broad: each province, each justice, interprets the laws in their own way (with guidance by the Supreme court of Canada) However, according to Charron, in Fice, in Ontario the statues affecting the liberty of a person must be read narrowly-- favouring the accused when ambiguity arises.

Last, see the definitions of cattle, dwelling unit, major occupancy, and my reference to, "the principles of fundamental justice" for further ambiguous language in the law.

SteveL wrote:
If the law was written with perfect clarity then you wouldn't have your current difficulty understanding the Section in question.

I don’t think I have a difficulty understanding what is written. My problem is why other people think a common word doesn’t mean what it means. I believe they are trying to retroactively justify what they assume to be true (i.e., that the law prescribes a fire drill every three months for all high-rises) despite the evidence of their own eyes.

See above. It is the use of convention not, unfortunately, proper grammar which has lead to your understandable difficulties.

SteveL wrote:

I suspect they disregard their own understanding of the English language because it’s easier to go along with the status quo and because the human ability to quell cognitive dissonance through rationalization is infinite. After all, everyone thinks of himself as reasonable, and no reasonable person wants to admit that his efforts are based on error. Something has to give. My inquiries probably generated dissonance in their minds between what the law actually says versus what they have been told it says, and they rectified this discrepancy by denying to themselves that there is a problem. Furthermore, their genuine belief that they are right is likely bolstered by their perception of themselves as professionals and by my status as a mere outsider.

(Not everyone has rejected plain English, however: one government employee thought the “and” is erroneous, as mentioned above; another, who is a friend employed by a different bureaucracy, and whose views usually differ from mine, agrees with my reading of the law.)

Agreed. You are an outsider trying to apply common-sense usage of the English language to deeply entrenched conventions. They don't care what you think, unless you have a case and challenge them directly.

SteveL wrote:
Paul wrote:
You could be entirely right about the law regarding the number of fire alarm drills required. Get a lawyer, find out if you have a case, and challenge the code. A number of citizens have made things better for our society by having a law or code clarified. It just requires time and effort. I wish you luck in your endeavour.

Thanks. If expert opinion bears out my contention, I’ll have to decide what, if anything, to do about it.

If your opinion is correct why wouldn't you do something about it?

Again, Good luck.

p.s. Sorry for the late reply. I've been meaning to post since Tuesday night, but life has got in the way.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:33 pm

Paul wrote:
The example, as I noted, was only provided to demonstrate the conventional use of commas and the penultimate ", and", where the conventions clearly reads as "or." In addition, this was an example of a slightly better written section than the one you cited. I satisfied both these requirements with my example. The commas and "and ," read as, "or."
Your example was "to demonstrate the use [of] commas indicating the conditional 'or' and the penultimate ',and'". As I showed in my previous post, your example has no conditionals, so it's irrelevant.

Paul wrote:
They [your .ss and my example] both use the convention badly.
You haven't shown the existence of a convention that reads one logical operator for another, let alone whether such a convention is badly used.
___________________

Take this example:

1. This Subsection applies to a thing that has,
(a) property X,
(b) property Y, and
(c) property Z.

Does your alleged convention apply here? Why or why not? How do you read the logical operator(s)?

Paul wrote:
The section you have cited is sloppily written, no argument.
Is it? Methinks you are begging the question.

Paul wrote:
Does it [SS 3.2.6.1.] mean "and" at this point? No. Your conversation with the woman at the Buildings Division and Mr. Gryffyn's confirmation, indicate the subsection reads as "or."
But, as I indicated, their reasons for thinking so seem invalid.

Paul wrote:
Again, you asked how one could read "or" where the .ss used commas and the penultimate ", and". I provided an example. Though your .ss reads badly, it is the convention they have used for both sections.
Actually, the implied conjunctions for a list of separate items are "and" (which is not a logical operator): "I am carrying a lantern, a stick, and a copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra."

Paul wrote:
In .ss 3.2.6.1, must a building meet all the requirements listed in Clauses (a), (b), (c), and (d), or, for example, can a building contain a group C major occupancy without satisfying all of the criteria set-out in the other Clauses, and still be legally bound by .ss 3.2.6.1?

Here is one of the Clauses written clearly:

"This Subsection applies to a building containing a Group C major occupancy whose floor level is more than 18 m above grade."

Is the above legally binding to the .ss in question? Can the above stand alone? If the answer is yes, each Clause can be read independently of the other Clauses. Write out each Clause, and sub-clause this way, for fun. It's much easier to read.

If one can read the the Clauses in the .ss this way, without satisfying all the other criteria in the other clauses in the .ss, each clause in the .ss reads as 'or."
Not true. Take this example:

1. A bicycle has
(a) two wheels,
(b) a seat,
(c) handlebars, and
(d) brakes.

Just because a sentence can be formed from one of its clauses (e.g., "A bicycle has two wheels") does not convert its logical operators from "and" to "or". This is because a bicycle (in the example) also has other properties.

Paul wrote:
I would never invent an example. I have more than enough case-law and legal discourse within arm's reach.
My mistake. I thought you made it up.

Paul wrote:
reading the laws concerning bail and pre-sentence custody lead me to this subsection (Lifting of Prohibition order for Sustenance or Employment--):

"s. 113(2) A competent authority may make an order under subsection (1) only after taking the following factors into account;

(a) the criminal record, if any, of the person;
(b) the nature and circumstances of the offences, if any, in which respect the prohibitive order was or will be made; and
(c) the safety of the person and of other persons."

Not all three criteria of this .ss must be met, one is sufficient. Note the use of "; and" despite it meaning "or." The same interpretation applies to the semicolon following .ss 113(2)(a). Why does it read as "or?" Note the ambiguity in the introduction concerning the, "following factors." Does it mean all the factors? Two of the factors? Is .ss (c) more important than the other two? Pay close attention to the key words, "if any." They apply only to s. 113(2)(a) and (b). Hence, there could be no criminal record or offences to consider, but the, "safety of the person or other persons" would permit the authority to make an order under .ss (1) based solely on .ss 113(2)(c). There is no question that the conventional use of the semicolon and the "; and" in this section reads as "or."
The qualifier "if any" means that the thing must be taken into account if it exists. That is, an existing criminal record may not be disregarded (per clause a). Therefore, all factors (a, b, and c) must be taken into account--where they exist (but since a and b already account for this in their wording, we can say that a and b are always included). The intended logical operator is clearly "and", as written.

Paul wrote:
You are the one questioning ambiguity in the law. I am not. I wrote that the law is written to reflect the need for flexibility. Though the written law may appear straightforward at first glance, myriad interpretations abound.
You raised the issue of ambiguity for some reason. I don't see its relevance to the meaning of logical operators in SS 3.2.6.1.

Paul wrote:
If your opinion is correct why wouldn't you do something about it?
I haven't ruled anything out.

Paul wrote:
p.s. Sorry for the late reply. I've been meaning to post since Tuesday night, but life has got in the way.
No worries; I am the royal chancellor of late replies. I've been working piecemeal on a response to kubera since the summer.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:57 pm

[I updated my Romanow post (4 above this one, dated Tue 08 Feb 2011, 12:33 pm). I originally forgot to mention that Romanow opposed the inclusion of property rights in the CRF.]
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:02 pm

I asked a lawyer I know via the Internet for his opinion.

His response:

Quote :
from my quick readig, I read it as "or". This is because they are listing critieria that make 3.2.6 apply to a building: a, and b, and c, and d--each one of these separate critieria is independently sufficient. Or that's how I read it.

Anyway, here is my response (slightly modified from the email):

Quote :
Thanks for your reply, but I'm not sure you are correct. Take this example (logically the same as 3.2.6.1.):

Quote :
1. This Subsection applies to a meal,
(a) containing meat,
(b) containing fruit, and
(c) containing vegetables.

While meat alone might constitute a meal, the sample subsection is only concerned with meals that also contain fruit and vegetables--by virtue of the logical and at the end of clause b. Thus, a single clause alone doesn't satisfy the application statement and therefore can't be independently sufficient.

He hasn't answered.
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PostSubject: Re: Fire drill law (calling all lawyers)   Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:28 am

Ok.

Why are you asking this question?
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