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June 12, 2012
For immediate release
Province proclaims legislation that would allow action to be taken against tobacco firms
Environment, Labour and Justice
A bill that will allow the province to take action against manufacturers and promoters of tobacco products has been proclaimed into force, says Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice and Attorney General Janice Sherry.
“The Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act give us the legal authority to launch a lawsuit against tobacco firms for past health care costs that have resulted from the use of tobacco,” said Minister Sherry. “Treating diseases caused by smoking has been an extraordinary burden on our healthcare system and this lawsuit will claim for the recovery of provincial health care expenditures on an aggregate basis on behalf of the tax payers of the province.”
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.
“Prince Edward Island is committed to moving forward with this litigation and proving its case before the court,” said Ms. Sherry. “We are working co-operatively with the other provincial governments to ensure that the tobacco industry is held accountable for the harm it has caused.”