Do you hear that sound? It’s kind of creepy, isn’t it? It’s the sound of the Nanny State creeping up on us thanks to this experiment in NDPism Albertans have irrevocably embarked on. It began with unilaterally imposing a $15 minimum wage scheme on every Alberta business. Without any consultation with employers, they made it clear they’re in charge and intend to put their stamp on every facet of our lives.
Consider their plan to ban menthol cigarettes. With the number of issues facing Alberta Health, they felt this was a burning priority? Seriously? Menthol cigarettes are a gateway to Player’s Navy Cuts? Health Canada already dictates enough information via graphic images and warnings on cigarette packages to make an informed choice about smoking. Individuals should now take responsibility for their choices. Don’t decide for us what’s best for us. And
no, I am not a smoker and when I was, hated menthols.
I agree smoking is a gross addiction. Claiming they’re a drain on collective health budgets is not certain, however. Studies indicate smokers die younger and quicker than non-smokers but pay far more in taxes. They’re just a pariah
it’s cool to attack.
It’s not like smokers inflict their habit on anyone anymore. They aren’t allowed to smoke anywhere sheltered or comfortable, not even, inexplicably outside on restaurant patios. I doubt second-hand smoke is a threat to others outside. It’s just that, as a society, we don’t like smokers. They stink. They
hold things up while they indulge and take more and longer breaks at work.
So let’s let Nanny take care of those nasty smokers. Who cares that it’s a sudden shot of anti-depressant for those needing this method of self-medication to cope. We should get to dictate everyone’s behaviour, shouldn’t we? At least
until they come for something we like.
It’s not just the NDP that engaged in Nanny-statism. Conservative governments even tried legislating away our choice of light bulbs for our homes. Suddenly,
incandescent bulbs were bad. Very bad.
I still recall my first CFL bulb. (Those are those twirly, energy-efficient bulbs that are almost as bright as your average politician.) That initial unit came to me via representatives from the town. A pair of municipal councilors was going door-to-door giving them away to help people get sold on using these new-fangled bulbs. To be fair, I don’t know if they were representing the town, the bulb manufacturer or perhaps Alberta Energy and Sustainable Development.
I’m sure there was no shortage of entities wanting us hooked on these bulbs.
The bulb pushers’ main thrust (besides, ‘Hey, buddy, the first one’s free!”) is the CFL bulbs would save me money every month and last a long time. They said if everybody used these bulbs, the power demand in our grid would be reduced
by, I don’t really recall; a billion per cent or some similarly large number.
I should have known better. “New and improved”, although always touted as a better way, aren’t always better in every way. There is often a trade-off with “old and reliable” as far as
positives and negatives are concerned.
I will admit it’s true that the bulbs do last longer, especially where we live where there seems to be an anomaly with the grid which sends incandescent bulb-killing power surges constantly. The CFL bulbs can handle surges better, since they lag behind incandescent models a full second before they begin to
glow as they are exciting gas molecules, not solid tungsten ones. Or something.
Unfortunately when the bulb ladies were discussing the wonders of this revolutionary electrical socket option, there was not a single word mentioned about their real downside, (besides never living up to the illumination output promised on the packaging). That downside is a huge one. Each CFL bulb produced contains three to five grams of mercury in each one. Although that is about 1/100th of the amount in an old style thermometer, we aren’t tossing these thermometers into landfills at an alarming rate. Studies indicate only a third of CFL bulbs are recycled, which means potential for damage to the environment. How much? Who knows? Enough to consider incandescent bulbs, despite their energy cost? It’s not like the experts agree. Therefore, let us decide.
Don’t make the decision for one style of bulb over another and legislate the others away. Let bulb makers explain their case directly to the public and allow us the dignity of knowing what bulb works best
in our situations.
Nanny isn’t welcome here.