Anti Smoking Laws 8
Well it really has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. Our politicians recently showed their Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½true Grit’ in Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival.
But first, let’s journey to Manitoba where some wild and wacky things are going on. It seems a bartender has taken the province to court, citing the fact that the anti smoking law creates an uneven playing field in that he cannot have smokers in his establishment whereas businesses run by aboriginals can. Grand Chief Chris Henderson says the province has no jurisdiction over native reserves, they fall under federal law. Because the feds didn’t pass this law, they don’t have to obey it.
Queen’s Bench Justice Albert Clearwater sided with the bartender and ruled there will be no smoking in enclosed public places on Indian reserves either. This puts Premier Gary Doer in a tizzy as he can only impose the law on paper. He knows as well as anyone else that the Indians will simply ignore him and carry on as they always have done in the past. Under the federal Indian Act, band bylaws take precedence over provincial laws. Four aboriginal bands in Saskatchewan have already passed bylaws to exempt their casinos from anti smoking laws.
I was under the impression that there was one law for all in Canada. If the Indians can get away with this in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, it is only a matter of time before it comes to Ontario. And that will cause Mr. Smitherman all sorts of headaches. He and his stupid law will be dragged through the courts on charges of discrimination.
Back to Toronto. It seems Mr. Sean Penn found it necessary to gather the media around him so he could expound on his view of the world to the great unwashed. His crime? He was smoking as he spoke to the reporters.
The Toronto Sutton Place Hotel has, I’m sure, all the legislated signage proclaiming that is a non-smoking facility. Our hero of the day is Ontario Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson who defiantly proclaimed that “No one is above the law. He should be charged.” What actually happened is that Mr. Penn was sent a letter explaining to him the error of his ways. Right, like he’s going to read it. Even if he did, will he care? I doubt it.
In the meantime, the province took the chickens way out and fined the hotel $605. They’ll pay it in the interest of public relations I suppose, but you can bet your Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½butt’ that the average Joe wouldn’t get that kind of treatment.
First we differentiate between the Indians and the white guys and now some white guys are more equal than others.