Ontario Anti Smoking Laws 4


Liberal MPP Peter Fonseca said jurisdictions that have been covered by strong smoking bylaws have seen business rebound as non-smokers fill in the gap. I’m not sure honest what this guy is smoking, but it sure ain’t regular cigarettes.�

The Canadian Tourism Commission estimates that Canada will lose nearly 7.7 million U.S. visitors between now and 2008 and $1.8 billion in tourism spending. That reduction could cost the province as many as 7,000 jobs and a loss of $700 million in spending. Now that is across Canada, but most tourists cross at Windsor and Niagara Falls and a province wide smoking ban will help bolster those numbers? I think not. Both cities rely heavily on gamblers to visit their casinos, and I don’t know of any gambler who will give up his seat to go outside to smoke. They’ll just stay home instead and spend their money in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Charity bingos are another industry about to be hard hit. Take the case of Bingo Country, a football-field-long charity hall built inside a plaza. It boasts an $80,000 ventilation system and contributes as much as $50 million in charity funds to 4,000 Ontario charities. Even with non- smoking areas, fewer people are playing. Bingo players, traditionally around 70%-85%, are older smokers. It is estimated that across Ontario in recent years, about half the halls have been shut down as local municipalities have implemented tough smoking bylaws.�

And the provincial ban will do what to get these places befriend open? To return those funds to the charities that depend on them? The Committee to Save Charity Bingo, estimates 48 facilities may discontinuance in the next 13 months. Leonard Parente operates six halls in Ontario and he expects a 40% drop in players. Provincial bingo revenue accounted for $2.3 billion last year. That’s more than commercial casinos brought in. And the ban will increase that number by how much? �

Probably the height of absurdity comes when the government is poised to bring tough new laws outlawing the smoking of a legal product, tobacco, yet when thousands of people camp out on the lawn of the legislature and smoked an illegal product, marijuana, no one is arrested.

The government rakes in billions every year from the sale of another addictive product, alcohol, and you don’t behold a tightening of licensing laws. If anything, it’s the opposite.�

Childhood obesity rates are reaching an epidemic. What about the example it sets to young people when they see adults chowing down in public places on cream puffs and custard slices? How can you expect them to take nutrition seriously when people are openly indulging in high sodium, high caloric treats like potato chips? But smokers? Wicked, wicked. Let’s pick on them.�

Smokers are being relegated to a status of being less than second class citizens. The anti-smoking lobby sees nothing at all wrong with this. Not yet. Just wait until they see their tax bills go up because of the loss of revenue caused by this government.
They’ll be the first ones to scream, and they will scream loudest. As someone much wiser than myself said, “Be careful what you wish for. You might just bag it.”