Friday, February 4, 2011

The gift that keeps on giving

At some point the federal government going to have to step up and clarify the tax free issue on tobacco for First Nations.

I agree with Premier Wall's seizure of the tobacco product shipped by Montreal based Rainbow cigarette manufacturer to Saskatchewan. Although the spokesman for Rainbow states the shipment was a gift to First Nations in Saskatchewan, clearly the intent is to introduce his product in this province.

I know we must honour the treaties, but it really is time to make decisions on what the intent was when the treaties were signed. Did the signatories to the treaties really intend that tax free status mean you could make money off selling a substance known to cause deadly disease? Did the medicine chest really mean hospitals and medical treatment for the disease caused by the tax free disease inducing product?

If taxation on tobacco runs at 42% everyone buying and/or using the product, regardless of race or ethnicity, should pay the tax and all that tax should be put into health care.

Since Alberta seems to be in the same position on this issue, I sincerely hope we join forces and get a ruling on just what the federal legislation means. If in fact the First Nations leaders are right then all loss of tax should be submitted to the provinces by the federal government. Or all health care costs relating to tobacco induced illnesses suffered by First Nations should be covered by the federal government.

This is truly the gift that keeps on giving - it gives you heart disease, cancers and a multitude of other ailments. And before you die be sure to say thanks for the wonderful gift

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing the position first nation leaders take on cigarettes. Not surprising the chiefs will sell out even their youth for the all mighty dollar. As is always the case the aboriginals will scream racists to anyone who tries to intervene here. Honestly I don't know why we don't give them their self government and then cut them off the canadian gravy train they've ridden the past century.


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