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Sask. prepares to take tobacco industry to court


The province is planning on taking legal action against tobacco companies to recover health care costs.

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is another step closer to launching legal action against the tobacco industry, an avenue that several other provinces are also pursuing in an effort to recover health-care costs.

Justice Minister Don Morgan announced in a news release Thursday that the province has reached an agreement with Bennett Jones, LLP and Siskinds, LLP, a consortium that will bring a health-care cost recovery action on behalf of Saskatchewan.

“Retaining this consortium is an important step in initiating litigation against tobacco manufacturers,” Morgan said in a news release. “We are confident they will be excellent counsel for Saskatchewan as we look to recover health-care costs expended by the government to treat tobacco-related illnesses of Saskatchewan residents.”

Saskatchewan intends to join other provinces that are pursuing legal action including B.C., New Brunswick, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Quebec have also indicated their intent to pursue this type of tobacco litigation.

“We are concerned about the impact tobacco has on the health of our residents and are committed to reducing tobacco use in the province through the work of the provincial tobacco strategy,” Health Minister Don McMorris said in the statement. “Our actions, including steps to recover health-care costs from tobacco industry, honour our commitment to building a healthier Saskatchewan.”

The Saskatchewan Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act enables an action by the province against the tobacco industry for health-care costs resulting from tobacco use.

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

The province is planning on taking legal action against tobacco companies to recover health care costs.

Photograph by: Koichi Kamoshida, Getty Images

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