C . A . G . E .
Citizens Against Government Encroachment -- Citoyens Anti Gouvernement Envahissant
 

 

 

 

"Neither one person, nor any number of persons, is warranted in saying to another human creature of ripe years that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it. All errors he is likely to commit against advice and warning are far outweighed by the evil of allowing others to constrain him to do what they deem his good."

John Stuart Mill, in his essay On Liberty.

 

EVENTS 

Find here a partial list of events to come, as well as some of those already past. 


 


FIRST WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST PROHIBITION BY TICAP


PRESS RELEASE



London, UK, October 2008 - The International Coalition Against Prohibition (TICAP) will hold its first world Conference on January the 27th and the 28th, 2009. Because of its prominence in these times, tobacco prohibition was chosen as the theme of the inaugural conference. Unfortunately, the denormalization of smoking comes at the expense of many citizens' rights and it sets a very dangerous precedent, along with causing immediate and devastating economic repercussions.

The conference "Smoking Bans and Lies", will be held at The European Parliament Building in Brussels. Subjects presented for discussion at the gathering will include: the impact of smoking bans, passive smoking exposure studies, the pharmaceutical lobby and the politics of prohibition.
TICAP includes more than 20 organizations from all over the world who share the conviction that prohibitions are a threat to democracy and a free society. Once an individual's right to choose is eliminated, special interests are enriched and state intrusion is tremendously augmented.

With this conference, TICAP intends to lay the foundations of an active, world-wide opposition to the expansion of a political trend that uses questionable science and public health institutions as vehicles to control citizens.

For further information: http://www.antiprohibition.org/
TICAP Press Office: pressoffice@antiprohibition.org



 

2008 FEDERAL ELECTIONS

 

 

Once again we encourage you to not hesitate to ask the political candidates to reveal their positions on the issues that are of importance to you and to demand clear answers.  Please don’t forget that although many laws are implemented on the provincial level, the general tone is given by the federal government who systematically negotiate your rights and liberties with the provinces the UN and the WHO.  It is time politicians are made to feel that they’re voted in office to serve the public and not the other way around.  It is also time that they’re made to feel that it is elected officials that should be deciding for the people that put their trust in them  and not the unelected bureaucrats, the government agencies, the various NGO’s and the too numerous interest groups. 

 

 

You will find the contact information for all registered political parties here

 

 

 


 

 

 THE ALDEBARAN TREATY

May 29, 2008 - During a summit meeting on May 1st to 3rd, aboard the Aldebaran, a sailing ship in Holland, several international groups signed a treaty against prohibition to be incorporated under the name of International Coalition Against Prohibition (ICAP).


Several nations from Europe and North America are now bound in solidarity against smoking bans and other prohibitions in the making, that while lucrative for multi-national corporations, interest groups and governments who promote them, are damaging to societies and citizens.

The first plan of this collective effort is to hold an international conference against prohibition in the fall of 2008 or early in 2009. It is during that conference that strategies and objectives will be established.

C.A.G.E. is proud to announce that it has become a member of the coalition and is one of the groups representing like-minded Canadians.

The healthist political movement may have deep pockets, but we have dedicated activists who are motivated by justice and passion. Together we will bring back some common sense and balance so that we may all live our lives according to our own convictions and personal beliefs.

 

 


 

 DEBATE

 Monday Nov. 19, 2007,  there will be a debate between the Citizens Against Government Encroachment and the McGill debating team on the topic "This House Would Legalize all Recreational Drugs". Come and encourage the Romano brothers who are on the pro legalization side.  The debate will be held in Gerts Bar (Shatner Basement), 3480 McTavish, Montreal,  at 6:00pm.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Demonstration organized by concerned and dedicated Canadian citizens 

 

TOBACCO CONTROL - OUT OF CONTROL

 

              You are invited to a Demonstration!


WHAT:
The Ontario Tobacco Control Conference 2006:
Investing in Social Change

WHEN:
Sunday, December 3, 2006:   3:00pm - 6:00pm

Monday, December 4, 2006:  6:30am - 12pm   and  1:30pm - 3:30pm

WHERE:
Sheraton on the Falls Hotel and Conference Centre (front entrance), 5875 Falls Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario

WHY A DEMONSTRATION?
Ontario Tobacco Control workers and volunteers are having a conference (funded by pharmaceutical companies) to celebrate their victory in getting the Ontario Smoke Free Act enacted and to plan their next steps.

We already know where they are heading!  Their last frontier is our private homes and cars, using our children to as a weapon to enforce our compliance!

We are particularly concerned because they have already invaded the private homes of the elderly living in Long Term Care Facilities.   They claim that they made an exemption to allow smoking rooms.  They knew that the over-the-top specifications of  designated smoking rooms would be too expensive and some of the most vulnerable people in society would be forced outside to cope with inclement weather and other hazards.

This Ontario Smoke Free Act lacks any compassion or respect for our senior citizens.

Enough is Enough!

Its time to let them know that they are going too far!  That the citizens of Ontario will not stand still while they abuse our elderly and disabled people.

Only you can make this demonstration a success.
For more information and confirmation please email:
tcofc@rogers.com

 

or visit the website:

http://www.tobaccocontroloutofcontrol.ca/

 


 

 

 

2006 - NOV. 13TH AND 14TH   - QUEBEC INJUNCTION HEARING

Not a day too soon, the U.T.B.Q., the association of bar owners challenging the Quebec smoking bans, have finally got their day in court to ask for a temporary injunction for bars until the challenge on its merits that was filed over a year ago is heard. Although attorney Julius Grey representing them admits that it will be very difficult to win this case, the precarious situation that the smoking ban has created for many bars since the legislaton came into effect on May 31, 2006, justifies that the bar owners put up a good fight to save their businesses. In fact they report that a number of bars have already closed and many others are struggling more every day for survival as Quebec cold temperatures settle in.

In the name of fairness for all citizens and less government encroachment in our personal lives, C.A.G.E. has been very active supporting the bar owners in their fight and will continue doing so every step of the way in this long and challenging battle they have promised to take all the way to the Supreme Court if they had to. In this spirit, we the people should show our support and be present in big numbers on November 13th and 14th 9:00 am at le Palais de Justice, 1 rue Notre Dame W., Montreal. A fight for justice is a fight for civil liberties and democracy.


The Alliance of Canadian Reform Organizations and the University of Ottawa Criminology Department, proudly announce

A Canadian Response to USA Drug Policy Hegemony:

The International Drug Enforcement Counter Symposium

May 8, 2006 -- 09:30h - 16:00h

Mariott Chateau Champlain Ballroom

1050 de la Gauchetiere, Montréal

* * *

On May 8, 2006, drug enforcement officers from around the globe meet behind closed doors in Montreal for a conference, funded by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and jointly sponsored by the RCMP Narcotics Division. Our Counter-Symposium -- "Can We Talk?" --- seeks to open debate on alternatives to prohibition and features the most prestigious assembly of leading scholars and activists from Europe, South and North America, ever gathered in Canada. Students, government officials, academics and the general public are cordially invited to attend and participate, as are delegates to the DEA conference.

This marks the first time the US-DEA sponsored Drug Enforcement Conference comes to Montreal, but ALSO the first time retired U.S. and Canadian police officers and judges follow them to speak out AGAINST the drug wars.

Symposium Agenda

09:00h - 09:30h : Press conference

09:30h - 11:30h: Symposium session.

Speakers will have 10 minutes each for

introductory remarks followed by a moderated panel discussion, including a public question and answer session.

12:00h: Outdoor rally at Dorchester Square, (corner of Peel and René-Levesque Blvd), that will include brief remarks from conference speakers, followed by music and other entertainment.

Drug reform organizations are invited to participate by having public information booths.

Among the participating organizations are Students For Sensible Drug Policy and NORML-Canada - National Organisation for the Refrom of Marijuana Laws, and the representatives from the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

13:00h : Luncheon (by invitation only) with key participants and other targeted stakeholders.

14:00h - 16:00h : Afternoon program consisting of moderated panel discussions, followed by a public Question & Answer session.

* * *

Confirmed speakers:

Professor Diane Riley. A senior policy analyst with the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy with thirty years of international experience in working with health and drug issues, she is an assistant professor of Medicine, at the University of Toronto, a founding member of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy & The International Harm Reduction Association and a member of the International Drug Policy Consortium.

Eugene Oscapella. Past chairman of the Drug Policy Group of the Law Reform Commission of Canada and a founding member of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy. From 1980-81 he served as commission counsel with the McDonald Commission of Inquiry into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and from 1982 to 1985, as Director of Legislation and Law Reform for the Canadian Bar Association. He has written and lectured extensively in Canada and abroad on privacy and drug policy issues.

Professor Marie Andree Bertrand. Professor Emeritus of Criminology at the University of Montreal, President of the International Anti-Prohibitionist League in Brussels, Professor Bertrands was also a member of Canada's Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs (the LeDain Commission, 1969-73.

From LEAP: (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition):

Terry Nelson. His law-enforcement career spans three decades, including service in the US Border Patrol, the US Customs Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, taking him beyond US borders on counter-narcotics missions.

He now believes drug prohibition does more harm than good and that a major policy change is needed.

Jerry Cameron. Graduate of the FBI National Academy, the DEA Drug Enforcement Course and two DEA Advanced Enforcement Institutes, for eleven years he was also Chief of two small town police departments. He taught drug interdiction and roadside interrogation techniques at the Institute of Police Technology at the University of North Florida. Toward the end of his career he concluded the 'war on drugs' was a total failure. Today, he speaks out against decades of failed policy and encourages the "re-legalization" of drugs as the best means to decrease the amount of drugs falling into the hands of children.

Hon. Judge Jerry Paradis. Appointed to the Provincial Court of BC in 1975, he served as a judge until in 2003, dealing with over a thousand drug cases.

He is now an ardent anti-prohibitionist. "Current drug policies diminish everyone," he wrote recently. "It diminishes judges by requiring them to shut their minds off from the irrationality of what they are required to do.

It diminishes the lawyers on both sides­the prosecutors, by forcing them to pursue people and issues that they know full well belong in the field of health care; and defence counsel, by forcing them to play silly charter-of-rights games instead of dealing with real issues. And it diminishes the police by forcing them to see drug users as prey, not worthy of serious second thought."

Judge Martín Vázquez Acuñas. One of Argentina's most respected jurists and drug policy reformers, he is honorary president of a highly successful, Harm Reduction and HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, known by as it's Spanish acronym, ARDA. Today, ARDA is one of the key organizations in the Latin American Harm Reduction Network, which includes doctors, attorneys, psychologists and psychiatrists. ARDA also has strong ties with various state agencies and health institutions, including a dozen hospitals, and in various universities throughout Argentina.

Dénes Balázs. He began working on drug policy issues in 1997 while a law student providing legal aid to a then-fledgling Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU). From 1999-2003, he served as the Head of the HCLU's Drug Policy Project. He spent the summer of 2004 at New York's Columbia University 'Open Society-Justice Initiative,'

before returning to Budapest in September, 2004 to serve as Executive Director of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union.

Kirk Tousaw, Policy Director, BC Civil Liberties Association

Libby Davies, MP, NDP - Vancouver Center

Lionel Prévost  - Maîtrise en criminologie et maîtrise en Science de l'Éducation.  - - 25 ans d'expérience au sein de la Sûreté du Québec. - Chargé de cours à l'École de criminologie de l'Université de Montréal. - Auteur de 5 ouvrages portant sur la sécurité publique.- 28 ans d'expérience en enseignement collégial (Techniques policières)

 www.idecs.htmwww.idecs.ca

 


 

 

HAPPY APRIL FOOL's DAY!

To celebrate, enjoy CAGE'd, our own very special newsletter!


 

 

INVITATION

On April 19th, monchoix.ca, the smoker’s rights organisation, is holding an event at the Skratch, Laval. For those that don’t know, the Skratch is a chain of Bars/restos/billiards that belongs to Mrs. Voula Demopoulos one of the plaintiffs challenging Law 112 in court. The show features Hugo Lapointe (brother of popular singer Eric Lapointe) and starts at 8:00 pm. We seize this opportunity to invite our members and all interested, to arrive at the Skratch earlier so that we may get to know each other better and chat.

We will be there as of 6:00 pm

Bar Le Skratch 965, Curé Labelle Laval, Québec H2V 2V7 Telephone (450) 686.POOL http://www.leskratch.com/laval/en


 

MARCH 29TH : RADIO INTERVIEW

Daniel Romano, president of C.A.G.E. will be interviewed by Gilles Proulx on ''Le Journal du Midi'' at 1:15 pm 98,5 FM. Their website is at http://www.985fm.ca/emission_proulx.php


 

MARCH 29TH - DEBATE ON THE VALIDITY OF LAW 112

C.A.G.E. vs. McGill Debating Union!

Daniel and David Romano of C.A.G.E. will be challenging the validity of the anti-tobacco legislation, Law 112. Their opponents, members of McGill's Debating Union, will be arguing on behalf of the law. This McGill Alumni vs. McGill Students event will be held on March 29th at 6:15 pm at the Lev Bukhman room on 3480 McTavish SSMU building 2nd floor. This important debate promises to be very exciting and informative and the public is cordially invited to attend.


 

MARCH 29TH - BAR OWNERS DEMONSTRATION - PLEASE JOIN THEM TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

There is a demonstration organized by the same bar owners fighting this law in courts. They will begin at 500 McGill College, Montreal at 10:00 am on March 29th and they will remain there until March 30th 12:00 pm. The Quebec bar owners want to raise public awareness and convince government to listen to their side of the story.


 

C.A.G.E. GET-TOGETHER

C.A.G.E. would like to invite all its Montreal-area members and supporters for a get together chat and drink on Friday, March 3 rd , at Sky Pub Club 1474 Ste Catherine E, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The purpose of the get together will be to have a nice drink and talk about possible CAGE activities and initiatives. All welcome. Please confirm your intention to join us at info@cagecanada.ca .


 

FIRST CALL TO ACTION -- 2006:

(This call to action was made prior to the January 2006 elections. Thank you to the many C.A.G.E. members who took up the call. The information herein remains pertinent even after the elections. We encourage you to take 5 minutes out every week and to post a letter to our political parties to let them know they how much we would love a government that pays attention to its responsibilities and leaves us citizens to ours.)

With elections just a few weeks away, now is the time to make our campaigning politicians listen to our concerns about an out-of-control and unresponsive government. Please compose a short and polite letter voicing your concerns, and send it by mail and/or by internet to the various parties. The internet links are provided below. C.A.G.E. has already sent them a series of questions and two position statements, included herein, but the more often they hear the message, the better. If you wish, please mention to them that you are a C.A.G.E. member, and if you are not yet a member, please sign up ! Numbers are very important to these people right now!

The internet contacts for the various parties are as follows:

For the liberal party, you have to fill in the contact info at this address (no e-mail address per-se): http://www.liberal.ca/contact_e.aspx

Same for Conservatives: http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1045/http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1045/

and NDP: http://www.ndp.ca/contacthttp://www.ndp.ca/contact

And Bloc http://www.blocquebecois.org/fr/joindre.asp

And finally, the Green Party: http://contact.greenparty.ca/contactus.php

Remember: Now is the best time! This is almost as important as voting itself!


 

SECOND CALL TO ACTION:

Please support those who are pushing for real change in government. Beryl Wajsmann of the Public Affairs Institute of Montreal has been invited to do a Talk Radio Show on Sundays at noon, and the inaugural show was on Sunday, January 8, 2006. The title of the show is "The Last Angry Man" and it has become extremely popular! Guests have included: Canada’s Leading Civil Liberties Attorney Julius Grey Democracy Watch co-ordinator Duff Conacher from Ottawa Social leader Rev. Darryl G. Gray Former Bar of Montreal President Me. Richard J. McConomy, Michelle Gervais of Citizens for Civil Liberties, and both Daniel and David Romano of C.A.G.E.

940 AM MONTREAL at NOON LIVE ON THE INTERNET AT WWW.940NEWS.COM

http://www.940news.com/

CALL-IN NUMBER 514.790.0006


 

ASSEMBLY

 Tuesday - 29 November 2005 at 2pm At the Holiday Inn, Midway -- Ambassador Hall -- 420 Sherbrooke West Organized and paid for by individual bar owners and their associated organizations to protest Law 112, a law that is unfair, illogical and potentially illegal. These business people do not believe the twisted logic behind the law, nor the selective statistics used by the government to justify this campaign. They are gathering together to denounce an overbearing intrusion into their commerce and private businesses. Over 500 people were present.


 

PARTY and AWARDS!

 Saturday the 26 th at Patrovy’s on Mont-Royal we a big party where we gave out the prizes to the essay contest on Personal Liberties in 21 st Century Canada. Jasmin Guenette from the Economic Institute of Montreal, Arminda Mota of Monchoix.ca and Dan Romano for C.A.G.E. each addressed the audience and spoke about the importance of ordinary citizens speaking up in defense of their personal freedoms and liberties. After the awards, the popular Quebec Rock singer "Papillion" and his band played to a packed house. To read the winning entries to the essay contest, please visit essay contest To see pictures of the event, the party, and awarding of prizes, please visit this page offered by the Montreal Economic Institute.


 

$ 1750.00 ESSAY CONTEST !

Sponsored by the Montreal Economic Institute and C.A.G.E. Autumn 2005 -- details .

 

Events to comeJacob Sullum in Montreal on September 27th, and in Toronto on September 28th.


 

 

2005-9-13 Legal Challenge to LAW 112, outlawing smoking in bars

Prominent Montreal civil rights and constitutional lawyer Julius Grey, with and on behalf of bar owners who are concerned about the negative effects of law 112, announced their legal challenge to the law at a press conference on Tuesday, Sept 13th, 2005.  Also presenting in support of this challenge were Renaud Poulin, of the Corporation des Bars, Brasseries et Tavernes, and Daniel Romano on behalf of C.A.G.E.

This legal challenge is the most important reaction to date against a very draconian and unnecessarily restrictive law.

The news made top story on five different T.V. station, and took first page the next day in many newspapers.  The right are samples of the more interesting reactions to this very important challenge against state paternalism.


 

 

Meeting with Business Groups May 19, 2005

In a meeting with a number of people who will be affected by the anti-tobacco legislation, two things became very clear to CAGE: 1) the Health Minister’s proposed Law 112 will cause a lot of people important financial losses, if not their entire livelihoods, and 2) the government’s public consultations are clearly for show only and not being taken seriously. Among the people most concerned were individuals whose businesses revolve around the tobacco industry, such as the distributors for cigarette vending machines. Even though these vending machines are only available in bars where children are not allowed, and even though the machines must be unlocked remotely by somebody in charge before they can dispense and merchandise, they will be outlawed completely by Law 112. The Association of Bar and Pub Employees was quite vocal that none of their constituents want to be "protected" by this law, and many know that their jobs are at risk, despite the biased statistics cited by the government. As for the Health Minister’s consultation process, a number of CAGE’s submissions had not been taken into account. It became apparent that such was the case for a fair number of associations that contributed to the consultation, but submitted answers that were not in line with the direction that the Juggernaut has chosen to go.


 

Free Market Walk on St-Denis – May 17, 2005

CAGE invited a number of journalists to join them on a "free market" walk on Montreal’s ultra-popular and terminally cool St-Denis street. We met at the Be-Bop Jazz Bar, where manager/director Sebastien explained that he and his clients LIKE the smoky atmosphere, that it is part and parcel of the jazz-bar experience, that his employees LIKE it and CHOOSE to work there for that reason. The anti-tobacco movement dares to claim that if he went smoke free, for every smoker he lost, he would gain a dozen non-smokers who stayed away from the place before. These people have no idea about common-sense business or basic economics. If such a preposterous claim were true, these bar owners would have gone smoke free long time ago! They are in the business to make money, after all.

Afterward, our group of CAGE members and journalist walked down St-Denis street, checking off the numerous places where a no-smoking policy had already been implemented by the management of their own free will, without the necessity of a draconian law. Business owners currently have every right to forbid smoking in their establishments if they wish, and different businesses cater to different preferences. Other places such as sheesha and hooka bars, served as examples of business that would be forced to close due to the smoking ban. Finally, our journalist was invited to step into any number of restaurants to conduct his own "smell test" and see for himself that the ventilation and segregation of smoking areas was working quite effectively. This is a walk that we intend on repeating on other streets. This first one, the "St-Denis Free Market Walk" resulted in a nice article by James Mennie on page A-6 of the May 24th Gazette.  Find it on our "News" page.


 

Seven Sisters Hike -- April 23rd, 2005. In celebration of Earth Day (April 22)

Hiking and climbing along the beautiful Riviere Rouge, one hour from Montreal, six CAGE members were able to visit the 7 awe-inspiring waterfalls, breath-taking cliffs and canyons, and a collection of natural sights such as moss-covered rocks, woodpecker carved and lighting scarred trees that continue to grow and tower above us, creeks, expansive root systems, and some fantastic picnic areas for when the weather warms up. To access this hike, the group had to park "illegally" on the side of the road, and work their way around fences and barriers. The natural beauty that greeted them made the trip worth it, especially since the entire area, a secret treasure known by so few in Montreal or Ottawa (also just one-hour away), is endangered by an completely unnecessary extension to highway 50 that is presently in the planning process. CAGE once again wishes to thank the government for having its priorities straight.


 

Romano vs. Romano – April 15, 2005

When Sadie’s Tabagie, a small concession and convenience store located in McGill’s Student Union building announced that it wished to continue selling cigarettes in order to remain profitable, the SSMU (Student Society of McGill University) expressed anger and indignation. Lucy Brown, president of CAGE McGill (still an interim club at that time), wrote a letter castigating the student society for attempting to act as parents to other students who, by implication, must lack the maturity to make their own decisions. CAGE McGill then invited members of SSMU to participate on a debate on the relative benefits of free market (Sadie’s stays and sells legal products) versus regulated economies (Sadie’s stays but only sells what we tell it to sell). SSMU did not accept. CAGE McGill then invited the Romano brothers to stage their own debate on this timely issue.

When CAGE McGill attempted to reserve a venue for this philosophical debate, they were told they could not. In a separate and certainly unrelated matter, CAGE McGill’s interim club status was mysteriously annulled, and its application for club status has been denied. Luckily, the Conservative Society of McGill University was kind enough to come to the rescue and reserve a lounge for the debate, which proceeded nicely. For the record, all spectators agreed that it was a clear victory for Mr. Romano.


 

Interview by Freelance Journalist Sean Byrnes – March 19, 2005

CAGE invited Sean Byrnes, a McGill journalism student, to meet with them to discuss the Québec government’s proposed anti smoking law. To prove the reasonability of CAGE’s position and the trustworthiness of the free market, the meeting took place at Second Cup, a 100% non-smoking coffee shop chain. Right across the street, at Presse Café, those people who wanted to smoke while sipping their coffee and reading their paper, as well as those who did not mind a bit of smoke, enjoyed the opportunity to exercise their free choice of where to spend their money. This interview resulted in an article published by the Concordia Link on March 22 (please pardon some of the editorial errors in the article -- Mr. Byrnes assures us, and we believe him, that the errors were made by the editors and not by him).


 

Conversation with PQ Leader Bernard Landry – February something, 2005

In a conversation with Partie Québecois Leader Bernard Landry, Dr. David Romano described to him the hopes and aspirations of CAGE, as a socio-political movement. Mr. Landry’s eyes lit up and he claimed to agree wholeheartedly that the government is overreaching its mandate and interfering too greatly in people’s lives with so many unnecessary regulations. The two, a professional politician and a professional political scientist, went on discuss and agree on a number of areas in which the government could do far more good by retreating than by imposing. But when Dr. Romano suggested that the Charest Government’s proposed anti-tobacco law was also an example of government encroachment into areas of civil liberties, Mr Landry got worried and backed off from what he, as professional politician, saw as an unpopular cause.

It makes sense to a true and professional political scientist like Dr. Romano that laws protecting civil rights and private property, democratic principles of protecting ones minorities, ethical principles against demonizing and denormalizing those you disagree with should also apply to voluntary minorities such as smokers. Mr. Bernard Landry was kind enough to demonstrate that only when the popularity of civil and personal liberty outweighs the political expediency of bashing those black sheep who choose not to conform to the politically correct norm will our Québecois, Canadian and North American societies truly become egalitarian.


 

Conversation with Minister Couillard – January 29, 2005

In a conversation with Québec’s Minister of Health and Social Services (Dr. Philippe Couillard) at the Global TV’s Montreal office, CAGE director David Romano suggested that the proposed anti-tobacco law was unnecessary in today’s society, because smoking was already banned in all truly public places (banks, hospitals, government buildings, schools, airports, bus terminals etc.) and increasing numbers of café and restaurant owners were converting their establishments into non-smoking places on their own. The good minister responded that nature progresses too slowly. David Romano replied that "half of the cafes in Quebec are already non-smoking, so why all this broohaha?" The minister disagreed, saying: "I think we are best off following the example of our neighbours in Ontario."

Mr. Couillard and his ministry have also been talking recently about imposing a tax on "la malbouffe" (junk food). CAGE poses the question to you: Do we want to follow the worst examples of moral busybodies and state nannies in neighbouring provinces and states? Or should Quebec try and set an example that others will envy, focusing on appropriate government priorities and leaving citizens to make their own decisions and enjoy themselves without harassment from Big Brother?


 

McGill Activities Night – January 11th, 2005

CAGE’s McGill University chapter rented a table in the Student Services Building, along with a hundred other clubs and organizations. Throughout the afternoon and evening, CAGE members discussed and debated issues of freedom vs. nanny-state regulation with University students. Ironically, many students claimed that an Ontario-style ban on smoking could never happen in a fun and easy-going province like Québec. In the middle of the debate, Dan Romano received a phone call on his cell phone informing him that Québec’s Minister of Health and Social Services, Philippe Couillard, had announced the launching of a new anti-tobacco project which evolved into law 112, set to take effect in January 2006.

As a testament to the universal appeal and reasonability of CAGE’s position, by the end of the evening, members of both the Conservative Society of McGill University, sitting to the right, and the Liberal Students association, sitting to CAGE’s left, signed up to become members. CAGE’s political and philosophical beliefs, although sometimes referred to as libertarian, actually transcend party distinctions and appeal to all who truly value the common good of individual freedom.