Friday, October 14, 2005

Smoke Signals

Nova Scotia's proposed ban on smoking in all public places, indoors and outside, has run into serious opposition from Micmacs who don't want the ban hurting business in bars and restaurants on reserve:

The province's justice minister said Friday he believes the ban would apply to reserves, even though native land falls under federal jurisdiction.

"These are considered laws of general application," said Michael Baker, who is also responsible for aboriginal affairs.

"These laws are applicable anywhere in the province."

But Baker admitted the limits of the province's power by saying the government will have to negotiate with individual bands about how the law is implemented and enforced.

Paul said he's open to negotiation, but will not sacrifice the economic gains made over the last few years by native business owners.

We gave them liquor and all its problems, and they gave us tobacco and all its related ailments.

Smoking on reserve also opens up another business bonanza for the Micmacs to go along with the tax-free cigarettes at the truck house.

I suppose telling the white man to stick it is justice, in a strange sort of way.


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