Sunday, June 5, 2005

Cigarette Kristallnacht

Our Ontario government — keeping anti-smoking activist lobby groups informed since 2003. The rest of you citizens can just stay in your cells until we let you out. From the London Free Press, keeping Londoners informed of progressive lobby group press releases since before I was born:

The Ontario government is considering a legal action against big tobacco that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars as the window to launch a lawsuit threatens to close later this month, Sun Media has learned.

An official in Premier Dalton McGuinty's office confirmed the development after Sun Media obtained a letter from prominent anti-tobacco activists calling for government action.

[…] According to a letter written to McGuinty by the Coalition Against Tobacco Tax Evasion, the clock is ticking on a lawsuit after Toronto-based tobacco company JTI-Macdonald Corp (formerly RJR-Macdonald) filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of a $1.5-billion claim made by the federal government and an aggressive bid by the Quebec government to collect $1.4 billion in back taxes.

The coalition, which includes 24 medical officers of health, other public health experts and anti-tobacco activists, argues the province has its own legitimate claim for compensation in connection with illegal smuggling in the 1990s and the resulting pressure to cut tobacco taxes that made cigarettes more accessible.
Poor, poor government — actually pressured into lowering taxes. When they so clearly have a right to those tax dollars in the first place — otherwise, they wouldn't sue, would they? This must have lowered the morale at the treasury by several $1,000-a-plate dinners.
"Mr. Premier … the criminal activity related to tobacco contraband was widespread and brazen," the coalition's letter states. "It was the largest fraud in Canadian history. From a public health perspective, it was the most destructive."
Actually, I could suggest quite a few other larger frauds. It's too bad the obviously non-community-spontaneously-formed Coalition Against Tobacco Tax Evasion has no website so that I could leave a constructive comment or two. As near as I can tell, it was formed by the taxpayer-funded lobby group NSRA headed by Garfield Mahood — he's the only one on google who seems to know something about it:
“Those who work in tobacco control and follow this issue know that the limitations deadline is, at best, a few short weeks away,” said Garfield Mahood, Executive Director of the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association. “The Coalition Against Tobacco Tax Evasion was formed to sound the alarm.

Rights? Ah, yess, ve vill let you know your rightsssssss


Lisa said...

You've no rights unless you are part of a government funded anti-individual rights association.

Such an atrocity - people protesting the monopoly on cigarette prices by dealing with those offering fairer prices. We'll not have that, cause if you smoke, a child might see you and then they'll start and the smokers are a burden on the monopolistic health care system besides. And don't you forget that the Liberals are better equipped to deal with your income than you - you haven't the sanction of the majority to budget your money and time as you choose. That kind of right doesn't come naturally.

Daniel said...

When Canada bans cigarettes, do you think they'll also criminalize growing tobacco plants, as they've done with the opium poppy? I think a number (or all) of the nicotiana species contain nicotine, so I suppose the LFP will soon be reporting the latest grow-op raid and seizure of illicit tobacco with a street value of $400,000.

(A lot of gardeners grow nicotiana species, as they used to opium poppies.)

Pietr said...

Perhaps this blog should be called 'The Village of the Damned',or 'The Midwich Cuckoos'.
I refer of course to the rebel children's movement on Springfield radio,led by Bart Simpson.
I gave up smoking two years ago for proven personal health reasons;but when I went to Toronto last year the scene was crippled.