Sunday 25 April 2010


The twist of the findings in a study that attempted to prove that smoking causes one to put on weight is absolutely staggering.

This research desperately attempted to debunk that smoking suppresses appetite, one positive aspect of smoking which has been a given for years. But rabid anti-smokers and ‘’no safe level’’ dogmatists, cannot & will not allow anything positive about smoking to remain on record. They desperately struggle to disprove anything and everything remotely positive about smoking even if that means they will twist, torture and misrepresent the findings.

The headline of the press release and picked up by the media is: Smoking increases the chances of being overweight according to a study by the University of Navarra
Let’s examine what they found according to their press release alone. Linking to the study itself if we had access to it might reveal further irregularities.

‘’ Participants who quit smoking during follow-up showed a greater relative weight gain, with some difference between sexes: over 1.5 kilos in men and about 1.0 kilo in women. In addition, active smokers had higher weight gain than those who were never smokers: about 0.5 kg in men and 0.36 kg in women.’’

No fancy expensive study was required to tell us what everyone already knows namely that quitting smoking may cause someone to put on weight and it generally does. But this has nothing to do with smoking itself; it has to do with quitting smoking! It is as absurd as claiming that food causes one to lose weight, since one most certainly will if they lowered their calorie intake!

As for the slight difference in weight gain of smokers who didn’t quit vs. non-smokers, if it is in fact a true finding of the study, here’s how the researchers attempt to explain it:

"possible reasons as to why tobacco smoking is related to weight gain are purely speculative. All the details are not known, but in most cases there is a common denominator: they are people with less will power when it comes to looking after their health.’’

Neither finding can justify that smoking itself causes weight gain! The researchers don’t even deserve an E for effort! The only mark that should be given to them for their ‘’twist & shout’’ study is a well deserved FD – Failure for Dishonesty. Talk about junk science and waste of precious human and financial resources!

Saturday 24 April 2010


According to a new study authored by Gregory Connolly & al of the Harvard School of Public Health, Big Tobacco are being naughty boys again. ‘’ (…) Orbs, pellets made of finely ground tobacco with mint or cinnamon flavoring, are packed with nicotine and can poison children and lure young people to start using tobacco. The pellets dissolve in the mouth, like breath mints. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and to make it look like a piece of candy is recklessly playing with the health of children” the lead author told reporters.

Our research led us to the following link which describes what Orbs are and their nicotine yields: Camel Orbs

Their description closely resembles another product presently marketed, namely nicotine lozenges. You can read about Commit Lozenges and their nicotine yields at the following link: Commit Lozenges

We later compared the two products:

Orbs contain 0,6 - 3,5 ml of nicotine
Commits contain 2 - 4 ml of nicotine

Orbs are fruit and candy flavored
Commits are fruit and candy flavored

Orbs come in attractive packaging
Commits come in attractive packaging

Because they’re a tobacco product minors cannot purchase Orbs
Commits are marketed over the counter and are available to everyone

Orbs dissolve in the mouth in minutes are small in size and can be conveniently hidden anywhere
Commits dissolve in the mouth in minutes are small in size and can be conveniently hidden anywhere

In the U.S. Orbs are priced at around 4.00 $ before tax for 15 pieces (approx. 15 cents per piece)
In the U.S. Commits are priced at around 40 $ for 72 pieces tax exempted (approx 55 cents per piece).

Except for the price and their makers, these two products are admittedly almost identical in nature, so why are Orbs a threat to children who are forbidden to purchase them until they’re of legal age and yet we hear nothing but praise from the anti-tobacco cartel on nicotine lozenges which can be sold over the counter to anyone?

Why would kids be lured by Orbs and not by Commits? Why would kids get addicted more to the Orb nicotine and not the Commit nicotine which comes in even higher yields? Why would kids be attracted to the flavor of Orbs and not the flavor of Commits?

Quite simply because Orbs are marketed by the evil tobacco companies while Commits are marketed by the holier than thou pharmaceutical industry and the latter will not tolerate a competing product especially when it’s less expensive.

Proof positive once again that the modern war on tobacco is a war between two corporate giants fighting over the nicotine market with the user caught in the crossfire. Big Pharma will use every soldier, every weapon and will take any hostage needed in their effort to take over the lucrative nicotine market. Unfortunately as long as tobacco users looking for a crutch to help them quit smoked tobacco are made to believe that pharmaceutical nicotine has magical properties nowhere else to be found, they will choose the overpriced Commits and other such pharmaceutical products over the evil tobacco industry’s product. Especially if the pharmaceutical products are covered by private insurance plans or funded by the state through everyone’s taxes! Let's hope that those wishing to quit will instead choose the only proven effective and safe method available: Their own will power!

Flavored Tobacco Pellets Are Denounced as a Lure to Young Users

Additional reading at: R.J. Reynolds Accused of Using Camel Orbs to Lure Kids

Un point de vue en français au: Camel teste les bonbons à la nicotine

Wednesday 21 April 2010


Selon une nouvelle ‘’découverte scientifique’’, ceux et celles qui fréquentent encore des salons de bronzage malgré les avertissements des instances sanitaires, présentent les mêmes symptômes que ceux de la dépendance aux substances.

Non mais quelle arrogance que de prétendre que parce-que quelqu’un fait fi des avertissements de la toute puissante santé publique, il doit nécessairement être référé en santé mentale !

C’est peut-être justement la très grande indépendance d’esprit qui permet aux récalcitrants de passer outre les 1001 messages de peur qu’on véhicule au quotidien et qui changent selon l’agenda du jour et le scientifique impliqué. Peut-être que ces insoumis estiment qu’on a crié au loup un peu trop souvent et que la recherche scientifique doit regagner sa crédibilité et sa noblesse avant qu’on recommence à suivre ses recommandations avec un peu plus de sérieux. Peut-être qu’on en a justement assez de se faire dicter quoi manger, quoi boire, quoi éviter, quoi ne pas éviter, pour plus tard se faire dire un peu trop souvent exactement le contraire.

Nous avons nos propres recommandations pour ces scientifiques qui, à travers leur propagande de peur, jouent régulièrement avec notre mental au point de nous rendre soit hypochondriaques soit complètement détachés : Présentez-nous des faits crédibles et bien appuyés, arrêtez de vous contredire entre vous et même avec votre propre personne, et peut-être que le peuple regagnera une certaine confiance en vous. En attendant, nous vous recommandons fortement de vous débarrasser de votre propre dépendance aux fonds qui vous sont alloués pour vos découvertes suspectes et y mettre un peu plus de ‘’substance’’ dans vos recherches.

Monday 19 April 2010


It is always with mixed feelings that we greet a story such as that of Amal Asmar, who was harangued by two police officers and essentially fined for no good reason other than sitting on a bench.

On one hand, such a story proves C.A.G.E.’s message again, as if we needed more proof, that the State is too large and too powerful for the good of individual citizens, and that its many and fast expanding laws are more often used to curb individual liberties than they are to promote the good of society.

On the other hand, our hearts and our sympathies go out to Amal, who was just minding her own business as she tried to get home on a cold February night when the police, those armed agents of the State, decided for some unknown reason that they needed to assert their authority over a private individual.

This story reminds us of another that is still fresh in the mind of concerned Canadians that of Robert Dziekanski, tazered to death by a handful of RCMP officers who all lied through their teeth about the incident afterward.

Fortunately, the case of Amal does not end so tragically. Although roughed up both physically and emotionally, and fined $1040 for inappropriate use of a bench (she was sitting on it) and making a loud noise other than yelling (she was screaming in pain and fear as both officers held her against their police car and twisted her arms), at least she is still alive to talk with us and to wonder why her evening was so rudely and unjustifiably interrupted by two armed police officers. And we wonder “by what right” was it so interrupted?

As he recently explained in a radio interview, Daniel Romano, president of C.A.G.E., believes that the excess of power in the State has led its agents to feel as though they may act with a certain degree of impunity. At the legislative level, they feel that they can create whatever laws they wish without sound, logical or scientific justification, and regardless of repercussions and inconveniences, financial and otherwise. At the enforcement level, police agents parade with an increasing arrogance and attitude of entitlement, sometimes with dire consequences for the individuals who cross them the wrong way.

We at C.A.G.E. believe that these stories all add evidence that our society is burdened with far too many laws, and our government and the State are endowed with far too much power and far too little oversight. We would remind those who are elected, appointed, or otherwise employed within our government and State that their very purpose and raison d’être consist of ‘serving’ the individual, and any behaviour inconsistent with this premise is inconsistent with the pillars of a free and democratic society.

''All I want to know is why?”


We were asked by the Canadian Press to submit our opinion on outdoor smoking bans and more particularly in Vancouver. The following position is what we have submitted to the reporter who did use part of our take on the issue in his article that you can read here .


If anyone wanted evidence that indoor smoking bans were more about denormalizing smoking and harassing smokers than public health, the new spat of lobbying for outdoor bans provides ample evidence. Once Canadians accepted the absurd notion that no amount of indoor ventilation could sufficiently address the exaggerated risks of second-hand smoke, it was only a matter of time before the demands and claims of the anti-smoking lobbies became even more absurd.

Let’s be perfectly clear: Whiffs of second hand smoke in the open air pose zero risk to bystanders, and anyone who claims otherwise has only their own ideological zeal to support such a ridiculous notion. The only purpose of smoking bans whether indoors or outdoors is to harass smokers to the point that they will feel coerced to quit, preferably using pharmaceutical nicotine and other medications. Since the long term efficacy of such pharmaceutical products has been shown to be a dismal 1,6%,(1) you will understand why it’s good repeat business for the pharmaceutical industry (the main financial backers, along with tax dollars, of anti-smoking groups who lobby various levels of government for more coercive policies and more funds for their efforts). Ironically enough, however, both in Canada and in other countries where comprehensive smoking bans have been implemented, smoking rates have stopped declining (2). Many smokers have developed defense mechanisms that instinctively resist such coercive measures (3). Ever since the more aggressive anti-smoking campaigns and bans of the last 10 years, native and contraband cigarettes are also increasingly inundating the Canadian market and creating an underground economy, deprive government of much needed revenue and allow children to buy cigarettes on the black market. So who exactly are we protecting with overkill legislations?

Similarly, there is no reason to ban smoking in outdoor settings to save the environment. Litter can very well be taken care of by enforcing already existent anti-littering legislation, which would also have the benefit of controlling all types of litter rather than just cigarette butts.
If some 18 per cent of Vancouver's roughly 600,000 inhabitants smoke, that's about 108,000 smokers. If just 10 per cent of them decide, once a month, to drive outside of city limits to enjoy a beach or park without being harassed by the smoke police and moral busybodies, that's 10800 extra car trips a month, or 129,600 extra car trips a year in and out of the city. The added smog and bigger carbon footprint of Vancouver will have grown considerably, causing everyone to suffer. Contrary to tobacco smoke, car exhaust is a real health hazard outdoors. It also seems safe to assume that even the most authoritarian municipalities don't plan on asking people with cars where and why they are driving somewhere. So municipal leaders would be much wiser, tolerant and compassionate towards smokers, if they voted down these absurd outdoor smoking ban proposals and focused on real city problems.

So what’s left to justify outdoor bans? Nothing but useless, corporate and taxpayer-funded moral crusades! But as long as our politicians look like they’re doing something for their constituents, as long as anti-tobacco activists can justify their funding by ever increasingly absurd demands, as long as the pharmaceutical industry rakes in the profits and governments pocket our extortionist tobacco taxes, all is well in the wonderful world of anti-tobacco lobbyism.
In addition to demanding outdoor smoking bans under a variety of pretexts, anti-smoking groups have also lobbied car makers to stop making cars with ashtrays (after which they demand a ban on smoking in cars, due to the litter produced from smokers throwing butts out the window), demanded that films which depict smoking receive an “R” rating (although shootings and other violence can remain “PG”), insisted on an end to the store display of tobacco products (already accomplished in Canada), and even sought an end to branding on tobacco packages. The list of demands is endless, of course, and the fact that Vancouver’s municipal leaders appear willing to entertain these demands, rather than focusing on more pressing municipal issues and respecting all their citizens, is just depressing.

Thursday 15 April 2010


It is a sad day in Canada when the Supreme Court rules without even as much as an explanation that private rights are not worthy of a fair hearing.

It is even sadder that the national media ignored Mr. Kennedy's fight against big government edicts for almost 10 years, but now that the highest court refuses to grant him leave, they bend over backwards to report the story.


Le document qui suit nous parvient du Pr. Robert Molimard.

Soyons très clair : le très humanitaire professeur et expert tabacologue est contre le tabac fumé, cependant il n'approuve guère les mesures répressives qu'on réserve présentement aux fumeurs et dénonce énergiquement les manigances de l’industrie pharmaceutique dans cette guerre immorale livrée aux gens qu’on prétend vouloir aider.


Deux regards sont possibles sur ceux qu'une position de faiblesse met hors des normes bien changeantes et arbitraires qui régissent les communautés humaines, malades, handicapés, dépendants de drogues diverses. Ou bien on s'attache à les amener si possible à la guérison, sinon à améliorer leur sort, et à les intégrer au mieux dans le réseau social. Ou bien on les stigmatise, les cache, les exclut, voire les pourchasse. Même si l'on n'en arrive pas à la solution finale, c'est la voie de la barbarie. Certains même y pensent, comme le montre cette réflexion d'un certain B.W. dans le forum GlobaLink*, que je traduis fidèlement de l'anglais : " Je ne comprends pas le débat sur le SNUS. Evidemment, c'est un bénéfice de santé publique pour les gens qui doivent travailler à côté d'un fumeur là où fumer n'est pas interdit. Mais par ailleurs, les cigarettes ne me soufflent pas la fumée au visage, les fumeurs le font. Donc pourquoi diable se soucier de la morbidité des fumeurs, sinon dire que ce ne sera jamais assez tôt!"

Donc qu'ils crèvent! Que B.W. se félicite de ne pas être enfumé est normal. Mais il ne comprend pas le débat sur le snus! Sucer un sachet de ce tabac suédois est pourtant l'arme absolue contre le tabagisme passif. En toute humanité, il devrait aussi se féliciter que ceux qui le préfèrent à la cigarette ne risquent plus le cancer du poumon, la bronchite chronique ou l'infarctus.

Ainsi la politique anti-tabac vient de prendre un virage que j'estime dangereux. C'est la fumée qui constitue le risque, qu'il s'agisse de celle du tabac, des cheminées d'usine, des pots d'échappement de voitures, des barbecues ou du cannabis. C'est la combustion qui produit les goudrons cancérigènes, les irritants bronchiques et l'oxyde de carbone nécessaire aux infarctus. Il reste des produits nocifs dans la prise ou la chique, comme dans le plastique des biberons, les salaisons au salpêtre ou les viandes et poissons fumés, et même le sel en excès dans les aliments conservés. Mais le snus est 98% moins dangereux que la cigarette, même si on lui attribue autant de cancers de la bouche! Tous les pourfendeurs du tabagisme passif devraient s'unir pour que soit levée l'interdiction de sa vente en Europe, à laquelle la Suède n'a pas voulu se plier.

C'est là que pointe le bout de l'oreille du barbare. Car la cible n'est pas le tabac, c'est le FUMEUR On s'interdit même de lui autoriser une échappatoire en lui permettant d'utiliser le snus, contre lequel on mène une virulente campagne, en l'accusant de favoriser chez les jeunes l'adoption ultérieure de la cigarette, alors qu'au contraire, pour un utilisateur de snus qui passe à la cigarette, 4 fumeurs arrêtent de consommer du tabac en passant par le snus.[1]

"Société CONTRE Fumeurs". C'était le titre prémonitoire d'un magnifique ouvrage de deux psychologues genevois [2]. Leur analyse expérimentale de la réaction des individus face à une société de plus en plus moralisatrice et répressive au nom de l'hygiénisme, du principe de précaution poussé à l'absurde, laissait prévoir combien la politique actuelle des interdictions de fumer tous azimuts serait contre-productive. Et en effet, depuis ces interdictions, l'organisme officiel SLÀN a reconnu que la prévalence du tabagisme était passée de 27% à 29% en Irlande, les italiens qu'ils ont 2 millions de fumeurs de plus et, en France, que les ventes de tabac augmentent sans que baisse la contrebande, et que les jeunes fument de plus en plus. La cigarette fait partie de l'IDENTITÉ même du fumeur. L'attaquer, c'est l'exposer à un repli sur soi des fumeurs, un tabagisme retranché, insensible aux messages de santé.

Je devrais me féliciter que les fumeurs continuent à soulager ma feuille d'impôts de 12 milliards d'euros par an et à cotiser pour une retraite dont profiteront les autres après leur mort prématurée. Depuis les interdictions, je peux savourer un déjeuner au restaurant sans être enfumé. Le tabagisme omniprésent était une nuisance insupportable, et méritait une règlementation. Mais les mesures prises l'ont été, non pas au nom de la gêne occasionnée par la fumée, mais de la MORTALITÉ engendrée par le TABAGISME PASSIF. L'origine en est un rapport pseudo-scientifique, une pure manipulation fomentée par les firmes pharmaceutiques qui vendent des médicaments de sevrage [3].

Or, l'UNIQUE VICTIME DU TABAGISME, c'est le FUMEUR. Il le paie largement de sa santé, consacre à son tabac une part énorme de ses ressources, d'autant plus qu'il est moins fortuné. Non seulement il se sent coupable en allumant sa cigarette du matin, mais voilà qu'on l'accuse d'être l'assassin de son voisin et de ses proches. Cela poussera certes quelques uns à s'arrêter de fumer, mais la réaction normale de défense est le déni et la fuite derrière un écran de fumée. Or, la meilleure arme contre le tabagisme, c'est au contraire que le fumeur abandonne sa cigarette. Le médecin, l'infirmière, le politique devraient être du côté de la victime, pour l'aider à trouver les voies de s'en sortir. La BARBARIE, c'est de prendre le parti de l'enfoncer..


* GlobaLink est un site de l'Union Internationale Contre le Cancer, consacré à la lutte contre le tabagisme.

[1] Ramström L M, Foulds J Role of snus in initiation and cessation of tobacco smoking in Sweden. Tobacco Control 2006;15:210-214
[2] Falomir, J. M., Mugny, G. (2004) Société contre fumeur, Une analyse psychologique de l’influence des experts. Grenoble : Presses Universitaires de Grenoble
[3] Molimard R. Le rapport européen "Lifting the smokescreen: Etude épidémiologique, ou manipulation? Revue d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, (2008) 56 ;(°4): 286-90 (Cet article peut être consulté sur le site, onglet "Altertabacologie"

Tuesday 13 April 2010


The latest miracle from a series of miracles that occurred throughout the world in the last few years, comes to us from very close to home this time. Indeed, the epidemiologists of the latest anti-tobacco junk study found that in Toronto "Crude rates of admission to hospital because of cardiovascular conditions decreased by 39% (95% CI 38%–40%) and admissions because of respiratory conditions decreased by 33% (95% CI 32%–34%) during the ban period affecting restaurant settings. ‘’

These allegations clearly don’t fly with common sense and at least two scientists have already spoke out against the findings .

Dr. Samy Suissa, director of clinical epidemiology at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, opined the findings in these terms: ‘’(…)to say that by having a smoking ban you've wiped out 40 per cent of the cardiovascular events, hospitalized cardiovascular events, is I think quite optimistic. (…) it is hard to believe banning smoking in restaurants led to a 17 per cent decline in heart attack rates across the entire population, regardless of whether they smoked or frequented restaurants. The best medications we have on the market are associated with a 10, 12, eight per cent decreases. But not 17 per cent. And these are directly in patients who are taking these medications carefully. (…)"The numbers don't add up. Scientifically they don't add up."

But the most extensive analysis on this study was again done by none other than Dr. Michael Siegel who has debunked every single one of these ‘’miracle’’ studies as they popped up.

‘’ The rest of the story is that we have yet another study purporting to show a dramatic and immediate effect of smoking bans on acute cardiovascular event admissions which turns out to be severely flawed. In this case, the data presented in the paper (or at least in the appendix) not only fail to support the study conclusion, but they actually refute that conclusion. They also refute the findings themselves as presented in the paper.

(…) I believe the actual data is quite clear in showing that this study failed to accurately present the findings and therefore resulted in an unsupported and unjustified conclusion.’’

But as we have grown accustomed to expect from agenda driven tobacco control lobbyists, as long as the results justify anti-smoking policy and their own future funding, it doesn’t matter how we skew the findings to come to these results. Roberta Ferrence executive director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, hazards even as far as comparing it to another piece of junk science - the Bowling Green, Ohio ‘’miracle’’ - which has also been expertly debunked by Dr. Siegel. Clearly, grasping at straws takes its full meaning from these desperate anti-tobacco attempts to defend the indefensible.


When there is no science to back anti-tobacco activists’ claims, generalizations should do the trick. At least this is what two critics of the second hand smoke hysteria are suggesting to the ban smoking in cars proponents.

It appears the researchers of a paper titled ’ Second-hand smoke in cars: How did the "23 times more toxic" myth turn into fact?’’ desperately attempted to find the scientific literature backing up the ‘’second hand smoke being 23 times more toxic in a car than in a smoker’s home‘’ claim, but found none. They traced the contention down to a U.S.A. newspaper article that anti-tobacco lobbyists as well as the government picked up and repeated ad nauseam since.
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) stretched the science even further by claiming that it was 27 times more harmful! The monkey see monkey do mentality was also demonstrated through the Ontario Lung Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and who knows how many more such ‘’me too’’ organizations.

The researchers therefore suggest that any anti-tobacco activist pushing for smoking bans in cars should stop using this argument and use generalizations instead: ''Researchers and organizations should stop using the 23 times more toxic "fact" because of the lack of evidence in scientific literature, the authors suggest. Instead, advocates of the ban should just make sweeping generalizations about the risks of secondhand smoke exposure and mention children if possible. Something like, "exposure to second-hand smoke in cars poses a significant health risk and...vulnerable children who cannot remove themselves from this smoky environment must be protected," would be a good substitute for the bogus statistic.''
As long as we are made to believe that ''it's for the children'' who needs science?

Friday 9 April 2010


Les 500 000 $ investis pour la sensibilisation pour le port du casque semblent avoir portés fruit auprès des skieurs du Québec. Preuve une fois de plus que l’éducation mène plus loin que la coercition.

L’opinion de M. Claude Péloquin, directeur général de l’Association des centres de ski, à l’effet qu’ « on aime mieux convaincre les gens, au lieu de leur dire qu’ils ne sont pas assez intelligents et que l’Etat a décidé pour eux » reflète fidèlement la philosophie de C.A.G.E.. Rien à ajouter à cet énoncé sinon que de réitérer que l’état n’est pas notre père et que même si cette sensibilisation n’avait pas obtenu des tels résultats, ce n’est pas aux élus et non-élus bien pensants de sauver l’individu de lui-même.

Les adeptes pourraient éviter une loi

Thursday 8 April 2010


C’est du n’importe quoi dans le monde anti-tabac. Vraiment du n’importe quoi. Une ineptie n’attend pas l’autre. Or, une nouvelle étude qui nous parvient de Tel-Aviv a trouvé que les jeunes fumeurs sont moins intelligents que les jeunes non-fumeurs. Alors peu importe que des études nettement moins farfelues aient trouvé que la nicotine augmente la concentration, la mémoire et les fonctions cognitives en général, les chercheurs de cette nouvelle propagande anti-tabagique prétendent le contraire.

Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John F Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Jean-Paul Sartre, Sigmund Freud, font partie d’une très longue liste des noms des fumeurs qui ont marqué l’humanité et qui n’ont rien à envier à l’intelligence de leurs homologues non-fumeurs. Si l’on se fie à cette étude, c’est à se demander comment que la société a pu avancer lors de la révolution industrielle, époque où il y a eu une augmentation marquée de l’usage du tabac.

Une explication très plausible aux résultats de cette étude, si on exclut bien entendu l’hypothèse que les statistiques ont été torturées pour en arriver aux résultats voulus, est, que le tabac étant devenu tabou par les temps qui courent, il n’y a que les rebelles qui osent encore défier l’establishment en continuant de fumer. Or, c’est un fait généralement accepté que ceux qui fument proviennent majoritairement des milieux plus défavorisés. La rébellion, la délinquance et le décrochage scolaire sont plus courants dans ces milieux. Ceci pourrait expliquer la différence dans les résultats des tests QI, tests qui incluent habituellement des questions de connaissances générales et académiques. Pour le reste, il faut vraiment être dénué de logique et d’intelligence pour croire que fumer rend quelqu’un plus dingue qu’un autre !

Les jeunes fumeurs moins intelligents que les non-fumeurs

Monday 5 April 2010


Quebec Court of Appeal decision

On March 26, 2010, the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned a broadly-worded blanket interlocutory injunction which had been issued against several internet bloggers who had been involved in posting comments on an internet forum, The interlocutory injunction, which had been issued on July 9, 2009 by Justice Danielle Richer of the Quebec Superior Court had sought to altogether prohibit the internet bloggers from somehow defaming the Government of Rawdon, its Mayor, or Director General in any way under threat of contempt of court proceedings.
This appeal drew the participation of Quebec newspapers, The Montreal Gazette and La Presse, as well as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as interveners

In quashing the interlocutory injunction issued by Justice Richer, the Quebec Court of Appeal noted that the blog, which had been established in 2005, contained some 240 webpages of various comments and that, at most some 22 comments may have constituted commentary that may be highly objectionable and possibly defamatory, and that judge Richer had failed by attempting to somehow prohibit any and all defamation at large by the bloggers as against the municipal Government and its officials (which is tantamount to censorship).
The Quebec Court of Appeal declined to decide the issue of whether a municipal Government can sue in Quebec for alleged defamation (despite an absolute prohibition in other Canadian provinces), despite the insistence of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association that the issue ought to be addressed pursuant to new anti-SLAPP legislation in Quebec and not left to fester until a trial date sometime in the future.

The future impact of the Rawdon test-case

On November 1, 2009, Quebec witnessed municipal elections across the province, and Rawdon witnessed a change in Government as well. The new political party had run, in part, on a platform which sought to shed light on the Rawdon Government-funded defamation case.
When the interlocutory injunction had been issued by Justice Danielle Richer in July 2009, the Mayor of Rawdon at the time, publicly stated in local media interviews that the case had cost Rawdon taxpayers $150,000, and she acknowledged a direct financial contribution of the Union des municipalités du Québec to this Rawdon test-case.

In March 2010, auditors appointed by the newly elected Government of the Municipality of Rawdon, revealed not only that the previous administration had run up legal bills of $ 541,675.25 (as of Dec. 31, 2009) but that legal work on the Rawdon test-case had begun long before the proceedings were filed ex parte and on an urgent basis in early February 2008 in Quebec Superior Court (District of Joliette) .
The legal bills of $ 541,675.25 (as of Dec. 31, 2009) are more than the entire amounts claimed by Rawdon and the ex-Mayor & ex- Director General in their lawsuits!

CAGE has since noted that following the initiation of the Rawdon test-case, another case was fashioned in the image of the Rawdon test-case model. In December 2008, a majority of the Municipal council of Beauceville authorized funding to sue a local media outlet for alleged defamation of the municipal Government and its Mayor; the text of the Beaceville Resolution actually states that it seeks to have the law firm that represented Rawdon in 705-17-002451-084 “do for Beaceville what they did for Rawdon. ”

The case funding was suspended by a subsequent vote of the Beauceville municipal council in early 2009, and the Government defamation action was later discontinued altogether.

There are over 1100 municipalities in the Province of Quebec. Allowing any one of them to sue for alleged defamation of the municipal Government with taxpayer dollars, would open the door wide open for oppression of political opponents in no uncertain terms. One need only be reminded of the infamous Padlock Law in Quebec, which was originally designed to address communist propaganda, but later became a powerful tool for the more generalized oppression of political opponents and minorities in Quebec.
The state of the law in Quebec is now such that any municipal councillors who could carry a majority vote to authorize municipal funding for eager and willing law firms to file lawsuits on their behalf, would be able to intimidate critics, or minorities, or threaten to exhaust them all financially by forcing them to defend against such lawsuits.

Rawdon is a town of a modest 10,000 residents: how could it run up legal bills in the amount of $541,675.25 (as of Dec. 31, 2009)? That is just over $54.00 for every man, woman and child living in Rawdon. The theory of a test-case is convincing, particularly so given an acknowledged financial contribution of the Union des municipalités du Québec .

Quebecers should pay close attention to this case, especially any citizens who post critical comments about municipal Governments on the internet.
If the Rawdon Government defamation case does not meet the definition of a SLAPP, a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, what does? One would hope that Quebec courts would be able to see it the way the average citizen of Quebec sees it, and balance the playing field for persons having to defend this kind of lawsuit pursuant to the new anti-SLAPP legislation.