Wednesday, November 17, 2004

17% of the population a victim of discrimination in Ontario

Ontario smokers could find themselves way out in the cold, if the province goes ahead with a plan for sweeping, no-smoking zones around all public buildings.

CTV's Toronto affiliate, CFTO, has learned of draft legislation that could leave people in the province very few options on where to light up. The only choices left could be in their homes, their cars, and far away from any public building.

Ontario's minister of health, George Smitherman, would not confirm the report of the draft legislation, but did repeat his commitment to getting citizens of his province to butt out.

"We ran on a platform of a 100 per cent ban on smoking in public and work places and we're going to fulfill it," Smitherman said.

As well, CFTO says the Health Minister will get support from Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara. He is said to be onside with efforts to raise cigarette taxes in the province to bring them closer to the national average.

"I have to balance between taxes that discourage smoking -- and that works -- and making sure our taxes are not a catalyst to a black market that doesn't serve anybody," Sorbara said.

Funny, I always figured that higher taxes and bans on commodities are a catalyst to the black market, rather than a deterrent.
Check out this article by Neil Smith concerning the pleasure hating and fascist nature of anti-smoking laws.

1 Comment:

Nick said...

That Neil Smith article is a load of hooey. If he honestly believes that these anti-smoking laws "[have] absolutely nothing to do with the presence or absence of first- or second- or third-hand smoke and whether it harms anybody or not.", then I'm afraid there's no basis for discussion between the two sides. While I'm no great fan of the anti-smoking sanctimony being batted around the provincial legislature these days (they are trying to go too far with these laws) there are perfectly legitimate concerns in the area of workplace safety. You shouldn't have to risk lung cancer to serve drinks for a living. "Political smoker"...give me a break. This is glorified teenage rebellion. This law being proposed is ridiculous of course, and I don't disagree with the sentiment of overarching nannyism smokers feel. But I wish people like Smith would quit painting all non-smokers as finger-wagging schoolmarms, and delegitimizing the entire concept of anti-smoking laws as a bureaucratic wet blanket. Silly.