Wednesday, January 26, 2005

This one's for you, Jardine

Enjoy this news story from January 13th. It's about smoking bans.

The debate over the advisability of these bans is effectively over, so this stuff is boring right? Well, probably. The reason I'm linking the piece is, because it makes scant mention of the "good or bad" question, it is basically a story about three separate governments arguing over whose job it is to tell grownups and private business what they can and can't do.

I did have to read it twice to make sure, though, as this sounded promising:
Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations vice-chief Morley Watson said it should be up to native people to decide what is best for their health.

Hey, people deciding what is best for their health, hallelujah! Wait, there's more:
He said there are some bands in the province that came forward with anti-smoking bylaws before the province's rule came into effect.

Oh. I guess he didn't mean "people" in the sense of "individuals". I'll let Mr. Watson finish:
"We're fully aware of making the best decision in our own lives," Watson said. "We cannot continue to have governments come along with very paternalistic attitudes that they have shown all along."

Unless they're native governments, apparently. Bravo!

P.S. If you're looking for closure, the feds elected not to quash the White Bear bylaw, so casino patrons are free to smoke 'em if they got 'em.

P.P.S. I've added a few more SSM thoughts, which I'm pretty sure are not original, in the comments here.


At 5:55 p.m., Blogger Jay said...

I have noticed a more marked rise in the clash (if you can call it that) between the smoke/health fascists and various multicults. Should reach a fever pitch sometime in the middle of the 21st century. Here in Burnaby, the City council is in a pissing match with a Middle Eastern cafe over their traditional "hookah" pipe that is shared among the patrons. (link)

Its worth noting that, y'know, ordinary boring anglo-saxon folk would never have a *separate hearing* about the cultural implications of a blanket smoke ban, but the principle is what is important here.

Get this - the guy who runs the cafe escaped from frickin' *Iran* to live in "freedom". And now the Nanny State will not be deterred from grinding him out under their tank treads.


At 4:07 p.m., Blogger Matt said...

Interesting link, Jay. Splitting hairs here, it's actually the Worker's Compensation Board rules that originally prohibited smoking in all these places (bars etc.), which raises two points:

1) Isn't it amazing how many levels of government, agencies, etc. are able to take our rights away? (Your linked story mentions 3 who have an interest.)

2) The "logic" behind this prohibition was that employees are captive - i.e. can't decide not to expose themselves to smoke, and by extension are ostensibly unable to find themselves a different job. Wouldn't this apply doubly to an ethnic-based place like this, particularly when the story notes that the owner's daughter works there? If the WCB is looking to protect people who "don't have nowhere else to go", I would suggest this place is where they would start.

Of course, that's notwithstanding the "proven health concern" of the hookah, which sounds pretty benign. If the *authorities* decide to allow it based on a LACK of PROVEN health risk, that's a precedent I'd love to see set.


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