Premier Clark surprised me by bluntly rejecting the idea of her Health Minister, Mike de Jong, to charge smokers higher Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums to offset the additional burden they place on British Columbia’s health system.
Bravo to Christy for using her common sense.
Medical professionals should not waste their valuable 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 likely significant legal ramifications of passing such discriminatory legislation.
If Mr. de Jong really wants to impress his boss, save on medical expenses and help his old lawyer 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 alarming and rapidly growing problem of childhood obesity in this province.
If ever there was a reason for premier Christy Clark to call a press conference, doing so to introduce a fat tax on junk food would be 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!
Lloyd Atkins, Vernon