When Ontario Minister Margaret R. Best, who is a lawyer and the sitting member for the riding that includes Ehatare/Eest Kodu invites us to a round table discussion, it behooves us to attend. That, and the fact that she is a very nice lady.
Her ministry is Health Promotion and Best presided at the Smoke Free Week events held at the Ontario Science Centre on January 18th and at Ryerson University on January 20th. On January 19th she addressed the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada in a round table discussion.
"Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Ontario. It kills 13,000 people a year. The number is just unacceptable."
"The Smoke Free Ontario Strategy is one of the health promotion issues areas that I would like to discuss with you this evening."
"In 2007/08 approximately 969,000 Ontarians had diabetes. By 2010 that number may reach 1.2 million."
"Diabetes is a serious disease. We need to pay a lot of attention to it. If we do not, it can lead to serious, long term health complications, including heart and kidney disease, stroke, blindness and amputation."
"Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes however face similar challenges. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through healthy eating, physical activity and proper management of the disease can lead to better health results."
"Resources such as EatRight Ontario - our Registered Dietician service supports Ontarians with making healthy eating food choices."
"One key promotion initiative is sports and what better statement for vaulting sport than our province's successful bid for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games."
When the Minister Best was asked if health was not better promoted by not taxing things like health clubs with the harmonized sales tax she referred to a book and said that an exemption was present for students under the age of 14.
"The Smoke Free Ontario Strategy, The Diabetes Strategy and The Pan/Parapan American Games are just three of my ministry's priorities."
After the speech there were questions from all. At that point a staffer agreed that the minister was not consulted on tax exemptions.
Smoke Free Week marked in Ontario