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Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario and MPP for Guelph, is the first Green MPP elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2018.
Ontario must take strong stand in tobacco lawsuit settlement negotiations
May 29, 2023
QUEEN'S PARK — Ontario Greens leader and MPP for Guelph Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to an open letter from the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Lung Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada calling on premiers to prioritize reducing tobacco use in a major lawsuit settlement currently under negotiation with Big Tobacco companies.
“I am proud to stand with the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Lung Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation to call on the Ford government – and premiers across the country – to ensure that reducing tobacco use and improving public health are top priority in a major lawsuit settlement currently under negotiation with Big Tobacco companies.
Tobacco takes a devastating toll in disease and death – a toll that is contributing to the ongoing crisis in our province’s healthcare system.
Twelve percent of Canadians aged 12 and over are current smokers — a long way from the federal target of less than five percent tobacco use by 2035.
Ontario has made substantial progress in reducing smoking rates. But we have so much further to go.
Alongside other provinces, we must do better to support our overburdened healthcare system and take a stand against Big Tobacco.
I am grateful for the tireless efforts of the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Lung Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation. I wholeheartedly support their call for a settlement that includes significant funding for tobacco control as well as policy measures to control the industry and to reduce tobacco use, including:
- Allocating substantial long-term funding — at least 10 percent of the distributions from the settlement — to a fund, independent of government, to reduce tobacco use.
- Ending all remaining tobacco promotion.
- Requiring tobacco companies to make substantial additional payments if targets to reduce tobacco use in Canada are not achieved.
- Requiring public disclosure of all secret internal tobacco company documents.”