Private Sector Solutions

Business owners in Montreal have come up with a civilized way to counter a government law that bans people from smoking in all public places; a ban that includes bars and restaurants.

When the law was introduced a year ago, business owners were rightfully concerned. Many of their customers were smokers. What was wrong with designating part of the establishment for smokers? The public sector cares little on these matters because, well, they are the government. "Um, ma'am, we just force people to do things. We don't offer solutions."

It doesn't help that they are unionized. You can't get more disconnected from economic reality than unions.

I don't smoke. It's a bad, ugly habit. I don't like what it does to my clothes or (apparently) my lungs. However, these irritations notwithstanding it does not lead me to infringe upon other people's civil liberties. It seems to me if you want to ban smoking outlaw cigarettes outright. People pat themselves on the back as if we just did the public good and that we are winning the battle on smoking. It's all, excuse the pun, smoke and mirrors.

The government claims to do right by people. Yet, they essentially threw people out of buildings and into the cold, harsh weather that is Quebec winters like unwanted pets. Someone did not think this through. Ironic, eh? That's all we need, people heading to our over crowded public hospitals.

Luckily, private citizens who have the pulse of their city in their best interests have come up with ideas to help their paying customers. Specifically, they have invested in heaters and tents for people to go out and smoke in comfort. It's an impressive community spirited idea (something Quebecers are not necessarily known for) that shows the softer side of the private sector.

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