Montreal, Quebec, June 8, 2012 – Imperial Tobacco Canada today decried the Government of Quebec’s healthcare cost recovery lawsuit as hypocrisy of the highest order.
“This lawsuit is a cash grab by a provincial government looking to score political points while conveniently forgetting that it has been a senior partner in the tobacco industry for decades,” said Donald McCarty, Vice President of Law, Imperial Tobacco Canada. ”Governments have licensed us, have taxed us and our consumers, and have regulated us, all in full knowledge of the risks associated with tobacco use.”
Imperial Tobacco Canada has launched a lawsuit against the Bill. The Bill is a violation of the right to a fair trial guaranteed by the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“We manufacture a legal, heavily regulated and taxed product. Quebec and other Canadian governments make more off the sale of tobacco than the legal companies. Quebec will continue to profit from tobacco sales even as it pursues this additional cash grab through the courts,” continued Mr. McCarty. “This action is even more duplicitous when one considers the major role played by the Government of Quebec and the governments of other provinces in the sale of other products for which the risks are well known, including alcohol and gambling.”
“We are astounded at the waste of taxpayers’ dollars. The number one tobacco problem in the country, illegal tobacco, is on Quebec’s doorstep,” said Mr. McCarty. “Shouldn’t the government be focusing its attention on the unregulated, untaxed and unlicensed sale of illegal tobacco?”