To the Editor,
Premier Clark surprised me by bluntly rejecting the idea of her Health Minister (Mike de Jong) to charge smokers higher MSP premiums to offset the additional burden they place on BC’s health system.
Bravo Christy for using your commonsense. Medical professionals should not waste their time filling out hair-splitting, finger-pointing bureaucratic forms to determine who should be classified as a smoker.
Having once been a practising lawyer, perhaps Mike de Jong thought his idea would be an excellent job creation program for his old colleagues, given the legal ramifications of such discriminatory legislation.
If Mr. de Jong really wants to impress his boss, save on medical expenses and help his old colleagues, he should borrow an idea from Denmark and propose a ‘fat tax’ on unhealthy food products.
The junk food sellers of the world will whine, stamp their feet and then call their high-priced lawyers and lobbyists, but that will only strengthen the case to do something dramatic about the rapidly growing problem of childhood obesity.
If ever there was a reason for Clark to call a press conference, introducing a ‘fat tax’ on junk food is it.
Premier Clark, walk purposefully to those microphones at center stage. Exude concern and resolution while you outline the ‘fat tax’ initiative. Own the message. Look into every camera. Minimize the smiles. Lights. Camera. Action! Go Christy, go.