By JORGE BARRERA, OTTAWA SUN
Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson wants to make cigarettes illegal.
"If I had my druthers I would not want to see tobacco anywhere in
Canada," the Ottawa-West Nepean MPP said yesterday while attending the
launch of new anti-smoking television and radio ads. "We know it kills
people. If I had the ultimate authority to ban tobacco from the province
or the country, of course I would."
Watson said it would be up to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ban
cigarettes, but the province could regulate cigarettes like alcohol and
sell them only through licensed vendors.
"If that is brought forward ... we (the Ontario government) would look
at it," he said.
The province's $3.1-million anti-smoking media campaign is intended to
prepare the public for tough regulations that come into effect May 31.
The new laws include a ban on smoking in all public places and on patios
with a covering. Counter displays and so-called "power walls" of
cigarette and tobacco products are to be phased out by 2008.
The province along with the Heart and Stroke Foundation unveiled the TV
spots at the Elisabeth Bruyere Health Centre, where anti-smoking
advocate Heather Crowe spends her dying days. The TV ads features Crowe
and Moe Atallah, her former boss.
Crowe, who appeared with her head shaved and in a wheelchair, is dying
from cancer caused by second-hand smoke she inhaled while working as a
waitress for 40 years.
"People shouldn't go to work to die," Crowe says in the ad.
Crowe said when the ban comes into effect, it will validate her
"It will be a great victory for me," said Crowe, who doubts smokes can
Vancouver, BC, Canada
"I am talking about impeachment... If (George W. Bush) commits oral sex in
the Oval Office, and I don't care with whom, that will be the straw that
broke the camel's back. Out he goes." - Kurt Vonnegut, Oct. 7, 2005