A Quebec coalition wants the federal government to impose a new tax on soft drinks and energy drinks to help pay for the fight against obesity.
Representatives of the Coalition Quebecoise sur la Problematique du Poids made their demand Thursday in front of a Parliamentary committee on health.
Coalition director Suzie Pellerin said that a tax of, for example, one cent per litre on these products would put about $36 million into government coffers.
According to the coalition, this revenue could then be invested in preventative projects related to health.
Pellerin said the tax would allow for the “denormalization” of these products by clearly identifying them in a way similar to alcohol and tobacco.
Is this a bad time to point out to these folks that neither alcohol nor tobacco have exactly been denormalized by any of the taxes etc that have been slapped on them? Yeah, I kind of thought it might.
I know this is Quebec we’re talking about, but what ever happened to individuals being perfectly capable of deciding for themselves what is and isn’t good for them, or whether or not doing x is a contributing factor to their eventual downfall into uncontrolable bouts of insanity? We do not need government entities, or people wishing to shove their own opinions in the laps of government entities, slapping a naughty naughty tax on anything with any kind of remote trace of something sugar-based just because they don’t think we should be allowed to have it. I can’t speak for the majority of Canadians, by any means, but I’m perfectly capable of determining for myself whether or not something will eventually kill me. And if I determine, or have determined by someone with a clue in more than just asking governments for new taxes, that something’s going to eventually kill me, I’m not stupid enough to keep doing it. I don’t need yet another organization from Quebec deciding for me in Ontario that this is a bad thing.
Folks, even if there were a valid point here, and I’m questioning whether there actually is, the answer is hardly to drive the price up with what amounts to our own answer to the sin tax. If you really must drive your point home and want people to actually take it seriously, give education a try. Give advertising a try. Give researching what you’re trying to fight against a try–most soft drinks, for example, don’t actually use straight sugar as the current demand would have folks believe. But it’s just generally easier to say “sugar bad, sugar tax” and be done with it. Which is why I’m not surprised this came out of Quebec. Now, please for the love of cheese, send it back there.