It is with much interest that I have been following the smoking bylaw debate. I find it to often be the topic of discussion, wherever I go, including our local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Emo.
I have to wonder why the Northwestern Health Unit sent the campaign postcards out in the mail in the first place? Dr. Sarsfield clearly stated it was his intent to force municipal councils to pass anti-smoking bylaws, or he would declare second-hand smoke a health hazard and take legal action against the municipalities.
Why bother with the cards? His mind was made up. There was not a “yes” or ”no” option on the cards. There is no way of knowing each individual returned only one card. I think Dr. Sarsfield should have to justify this complete waste of taxpayers’ money.
This is not the first time Dr. Sarsfield has threatened legal action against the very taxpayers that pay his salary—using our tax dollars to do it.
I believe I recall reading, quite some time ago, that the Town of Fort Frances wanted some justification for the increase in the amount they had to pay for the health unit costs. As I recall, Dr. Sarsfield’s reply was that he didn’t have to give them an account and they could pay up or go to court.
He seems to have limitless funds for legal action.
I recently watched a report on television regarding air pollution. This new study has proven that air pollution is responsible for just as many cases of lung cancer as second-hand smoke.
Will Dr. Sarsfield declare the mills in the area to be the next health hazard? This might be a little less politically popular!
Another report I watched recently on television stated that smoking and obesity are less likely to cause heart attacks and strokes than a sedentary lifestyle. What’s next? Enforced exercise for couch potatoes?
I think Dr. Sarsfield’s approach to the problem is the problem. Rather than dictate how things are going to be, people should have had a choice. I think the good citizens of the district could have come up with some acceptable solutions on their own.
The OSB mill has a “no smoking” policy that seems to work. Businesses that have separate smoking and non-smoking areas have done this without bylaws. Dr. Sarsfield’s dictatorial approach has just caused people to dig in their heels.
As one non-smoking World War II veteran commented during a discussion we were having on the subject, “I thought we won the war.”