Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Punishing the Victim

Scary, because instead of increasing royalties from the Oil Sands to offset tax losses from regular hydrocarbon production, or eliminating health care fees or making post secondary educational institutions tuition free, or actually dealing with indoor air quality, pollution and Green House Gases we get this;

Hancock Pushing Hard for Smoking Ban In Alberta

The recent $5 per pack immediate tax increase in the April 19 Alberta Budget is the first step in an effort towards a province wide tobacco reduction strategy and is just part of the new Alberta Minister of Health and Wellness, Dave Hancock’s strategic efforts to promote wellness.

In addition to a tax increase, a proposal is being drafted by Hancock for a province-wide legislated ban on smoking in public places and work places. Further provisions will include a ban tobacco sales in pharmacies and to regulate so-called powerwall displays of tobacco products. Tax increases are as rare as hen's teeth in Alberta so this tobacco tax augers well for the political potential of a legislated ban of smoking in public and work places.
This public policy initiative is not new to Alberta. It has been tried 4 times before but never made it through the political policy development process. But with new leadership and the fact it is garnering significant public support, it may have a chance this time.


Smokers and Smokestack Industries

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Werner Patels said...

See my opinion on this issue (and the silly article you quoted).

Ken Chapman said...

Eugene - I have an error in my post...the recent tobacco tax is $5 per carton - not per pack.

Werner Patels said...

Wishful thinking on Ken's part, eh?

Ken, you are an astute observer of the political scene. I therefore suggest you stop writing about the tobacco issue because you get way too personal and emotional, which is taking away from your reputation and credibility big time -- such as this most recent article you wrote (and your comments in reply to other commenters). It was silly beyond belief, if you pardon my candour.

son of gaia said...

Thanks for this, Eugene!

There is spirited resistance to this oppression, as you will find here:

On a more general note, I've been trying to keep up with your postings, here. I'm constantly in awe of how erudite you are, old friend. Reading your blog can be like attending a 300 level course at University, or beyond. I always learn something of value by visiting here.


son of gaia said...


I'm not sure that Ken is free to "stop writing about the tobacco issue". I may be misinterpreting here, and if I am I hope Ken will inform me so that I can correct my error - but I think Ken may be getting paid to promote the proposed smoking ban. In our previous discussions, Ken was honest enough to admit that he stood to gain financially if Hancock pursued the smoking ban agenda.

Sort of like this "Tobacco Free Campus" www.tobaccofreecampus.com

In their brochure, Tobacco Free Campus claims to be "a provincial movement led by post-secondary students..." but nowhere in their brochure or on their website do they inform you that these students are also paid employees of Action on Smoking and Health. They are not a spontaneous "student movement" at all - they are paid political lobbyists and social engineers.

In any case, I hope Ken does keep talking about smoking issues - having a foil inspires me to much more insightful postings.

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