Monday, December 11, 2006

Bad policy, but what bad messaging

Besides my simple befuddlement at this decision by the McGuinty government (the suit seems like a no-brainer to me) I'd have to think his communications people are cringing at how this story will play.

I don't know what Dalton said that resulted in the bolded portion of the paraphrasing below, but this is soo not the message you want to be sending, particularly when you're gearing up for an election next year.

But Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says his government doesn't want to punish big tobacco, and warns there's “considerable doubt” about the likely success of a lawsuit.

I'm sure big tobacco appreciates that, I'm just not sure big Ontarioins, not to mention small Ontarioins and medium-sized Ontarioins, will feel the same. Nor would they really consider it punishment either, I suspect, but rather justice.

Ontario won't join six provinces in tobacco fight
Canadian Press
Toronto — Ontario is refusing to join six other provinces in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against big tobacco companies, and will let British Columbia lead the legal fight.
B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador all plan to sue to recover health-care costs related to smoking.

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Jason Townsend said...

Something like 90% of Canada's tobacco industry is concentrated in Ontario. I can understand them wanting to take a 'softly, softly' approach.

Anonymous said...

You know what it would cost to fight that battle - millions.

Big tobacco would probably win or if threatened - pull out. Now you have farmers/jobs to consider and they should be phased into another area of farming and then get the tobacco companies out of here.

You just can't delete that many jobs all at once and you can't leave the tobacco farmers with nothing.

A strategic move would be better.

Miles Lunn said...

Even as someone who resides in Ontario and realizes the possible economic hardships, I still think they should be taken on because of the amount they've cost our health care system and they amount of people that it has killed. I don't want the tobacco farmers to suffer so I am fine with helping them make a transition from tobacco farming to other jobs, but in the case of the big tobacco companies, I really have no sympathy for them.