Smokers win one

Bob Gee is feeling pleased no doubt with the recent decision which admits that his rights have been limited.

A Kentville store owner has won the first round in his fight with the province over tobacco regulations.

A provincial court judge has agreed with Bob Gee that a law banning tobacco displays in retail stores violates his constitutional rights. [CH Aug. 18]

Unfortunately, this is only the first battle in a longer war. The Province will come back and may win the next round with the argument that the “public good” overrides his personal rights.

The judge’s decision means that the province must prove that infringing Gee’s constitutional rights is reasonable and for the public good. The province will make that argument at a hearing in the second phase of the case. A date for that hearing will be scheduled for Oct. 6.

In the meantime, the legislation remains in effect, said Graham Steele, the acting minister of health promotion and protection.

Where does it stop and who decides what is for the public good? As Thomas Sowell points out the most important decision is “who makes the decisions”.


3 responses to “Smokers win one

  1. Graham Steele sounds like vigilante Victorian super-nanny, making sure we shouldn’t see what we shouldn’t oughta see. Tomorrow, his DepartMental bureaucrats will be checking us all out for impure thoughts.

  2. That’s just it. We have lawyers and judges who make laws that have nothing to do with common sense. If tobacco products are legal to sell to the public, how can they be legislated to be hidden at a tobacco shop?

    It used to be that children under a certain age were not allowed in liquor stores or bars. What “public good” is served by allowing them to be in any of these places. What public good is served by allowing VLT’s and casinos and gambling on the internet? Should we keep pregnant women out of bars and refuse to let them buy liquor? Might save a few offspring from Fetal Alcohol Disorders. That would serve the public good. But I digress.

    I had a license to drive when I was 14. You could buy them for $2 along with a bicycle license and a radio license. Kids on farms learn to drive very early because they have to. Does a “No Littering” sign mean that you will go to jail or be fined if you are caught littering? How many people have been charged for smoking when children are in the car? Using a cell phone?

    I don’t know how my children survived. They didn’t have bicycle helmets, just clips to keep their pant legs out of the chains. They didn’t have seat belts. They all just piled in the back of the station wagon. We carried babies in our arms instead of folded up in hard plastic carriers, all slumped over with their little heads lolling around.

    We grew up respecting those who gave up careers to represent us in the government. With the advent of computers, the chattering classes have found a public corner for ranting, but who listens when there are so many whiners? Who wants a job where you get nothing but criticism and abuse from people who have no idea what it is like to “serve the public.”

    There is a law against spitting on the sidewalk, but I see people do that every day, even policemen. It’s a jungle out there!

  3. Today, in the CH, Minister Graham Steele is talking up the option of Nova Scotia getting into the business of Internet Gambling. To quote Steele,

    “In fact, if you look at the number of people who are addicted to alcohol and seeking treatment, the numbers are far larger than the number of people seeking treatment for gambling, but as a society we find ways of dealing with it”

    Yeah, Steele turns a blind eye to the suicides, divorce, and crime that follows from alcohol/gambling-induced financial ruination. The policies promoted by bureaucrats and politicians have NOTHING to do with the “public good” and EVERYTHING to do with who profits.

    Preventing Mr Gee from displaying his wares within his own shoppe will not significantly impact the amount of money that can be siphoned out of the community to fund greedy politicians and our monstrous self-serving bureaucracies. So those with power see fit to steamroller the rights of Mr Gee in order to protect the “public good”.

    On the other hand, the bureaucrats and their pet politicians profit handsomely from their state-run liquor stores, gambling operations and taxes on tobacco — so in all these instances the “public good” is put aside in favour of the bureaucracies right to pilfer.

    Minister Steele and his DepartMental goons are HYPOCRITES. Judging by the (in)action of other politicians and public self-serving-servants, I’d say they are not the only hypocrites. It remains to be seen whether or not the Provincial judiciary has the wit to expose this ruse.