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September 12, 2012
For immediate release

Province begins court proceeding to recover tobacco-related health costs

Environment, Labour and Justice

The Government of Prince Edward Island has filed a claim with the province’s Supreme Court in order to recover health care costs for tobacco-related illnesses, says Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice Janice Sherry.

“This claim begins the process of holding the tobacco industry to account for the harm it has caused to Islanders,” said Minister Sherry. “The Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act proclaimed this summer empowered government to begin recovering the cost of treating illness linked to the use of tobacco products.”

In the fall of 2011, Prince Edward Island retained a legal consortium to represent the province with this claim. The consortium is headed by two national law firms, Bennett Jones, LLP and Siskinds, LLP, and is also representing New Brunswick, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

“Similar to legal claims in other provinces, we are going to ask the court to require these companies to reimburse the crown for health care costs attributable to their sale and promotion of tobacco at a time when they were aware of the harm smoking was doing to their customers,” the minister said.

The case covers health care costs for tobacco-related illness on Prince Edward Island dating back to 1953.

Media Contact: Ron Ryder
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