The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
Healthy Living Minister Jim Rondeau yesterday tabled the report by the All-Party Task Force on Environmental Tobacco Smoke in the legislature and announced the next steps in moving towards a provincewide smoking ban in enclosed public places and indoor workplaces. The minister stressed that the government is pursuing legislation to protect the general public and all workers from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. "The committee should be congratulated for creating a document that will help Manitoba become the first province to introduce a ban on smoking in enclosed public places and indoor workplaces," said Rondeau. "One of the best ways to promote disease prevention is to find ways to reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and a ban will take Manitoba a long way toward meeting that objective." The minister announced he is asking officials with Manitoba Health to begin a review of other legislation in the country including bans already in place in Winnipeg and Brandon to learn from their implementation experiences. "We are fortunate that we can learn from bans already in place in Manitoba's two largest centres on the best way to develop provincewide legislation," he said. In the new year, provincial government officials will begin an implementation process that will include: Consulting on legislation including issues such as enforcement and definitions (for example, defining "enclosed public place", "indoor workplace" and "ceremonial use"). This will involve a number of stakeholders such as other government departments, municipalities, health officials, the Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health and First Nations. Working with members of the hospitality industry on dealing with the anticipated impact resulting from the smoking ban. Developing an education campaign on the smoking ban that builds on existing smoking cessation initiatives. The all-party committee, which had representation from all three political parties, unanimously approved six recommendations last month that would see the province develop legislation that would result in a ban effective Oct. 1, 2004. The minister said the decision by the Ontario Workers Compensation Board to award compensation to a hospitality worker because of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is prompting many jurisdictions to re-examine their policies on the issue. Rondeau noted, in its speech from the throne, the Ontario government also committed to banning environmental smoke in public places. The report of the All-Party Task Force on Environmental Tobacco Smoke report can be found on the Internet at http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/ets/index.html.