Ontario rejects lawsuit against big tobacco

December 12, 2006 by  

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April Lindgren, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 Article tools
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Font: * * * * TORONTO – Ontario won’t go to court seeking to ”punish” tobacco companies and to recover ongoing health-care costs related to smoking, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday.

”There are two agendas here,” McGuinty told reporters. ”We’re pursuing one particular agenda and that is to reduce the incidence of tobacco use in Ontario, especially among our young people. We’re enjoying some success.

”The other agenda is about punishing big tobacco. We have not embraced that agenda. That does not serve our purposes.”

McGuinty said there is ”considerable doubt” about governments’ ability to win such suits in Canada and suggested he will await the results of ongoing litigation in B.C.

Ontario government officials said B.C. has already spent as much as $20 million on its lawsuit.

”(There is) no end in sight, no reasonable prospect of returns in sight so I think the prudent thing for us to do is to pursue our agenda in a single-minded way, which is to reduce the incidence of smoking,” McGuinty said.



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