Let’s not drive wedges

Dear editor:
Re: No-smoking bylaw
Seven years ago, I seized an opportunity to build a business in Emo and provide service (i.e., convenience store) for the community and surrounding area. I relied solely on the continued support of my husband, family, hard work, long hours, and my customers to make this a thriving success.
Now I’m led to believe that within a very short time, I will be faced with probably one of the toughest decisions of my life. Will I be smoking, non-smoking, or out of business because of people like Dr. Sarsfield, Jennifer McKibbon of the Northwestern Health Unit, and Michael Perley, director of the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco, all of whom are naturally riding the government cow?
If anyone read the Fort Frances Times of Feb. 27, Mr. Perley was able to scrape up 12 people to listen to him cite statistics in the failure rate (67 percent) of food and beverage businesses in their first five years.
Also if you read into the article, he had quite a little communist plan for implementing the bylaw.
Before I go on, did anyone read the letter to the editor in the same paper from Kirsten Gunderson of Ottawa, Ont.? Maybe some statistics could be drawn from that.
Now getting back to the issue here (my personal plight). I am a nickel-and-dime store, offering everything from convenience items, groceries, movies, confectionery, coffee shop, freight, and bus service. I have to decide what goes and what stays to make this business work so I can contribute my share of taxes (i.e., employee, property, municipal, provincial, and federal).
Does anyone remember what the two world wars were fought for? Do the Legions in this country fall under this law?
Why doesn’t the government pull cigarettes off the shelf? Is it they are afraid of lost revenue, pressure from the largest tobacco companies, or that the sale of such products will go underground like drugs?
Lastly, if Mr. Parley’s statistics are correct and 13 percent of the business people in this town can stay afloat under present conditions, do you not think they would have implemented a “non-smoking” law themselves? My goodness, they could have been charging a $20 cover charge at the door!
Look folks, in a little town like Emo, we all need each other to survive. Let us not drive wedges and give reason for dissension.
Respectfully yours,
Marlene McQuaker
P.S. Let us get some facts and answer some questions before Emo council forms a decision. And above all, let us support one another.