Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is under tremendous pressure from tobacco manufacturers to weaken and delay Bill C-71, the tobacco legislation. New Democrats urge the government to move ahead with the bill, which already represents a compromise, with no more concessions and no more delays.
It is ironic that the tobacco industry is seeking to make deals around sponsorship such as allowing international events. At the same time other governments, including the U.S., Belgium and France, are moving to a total ban on all tobacco sponsorship of arts and sports.
The government should ensure that the funds lost to cultural and sports groups are restored and strengthened from other government revenues. The government must not be bullied by the high pressure propaganda from the tobacco companies, companies that have already a very cosy relationship with the Liberal Party.
Canadians can have both a rich and varied cultural and sporting life and protect the health of our children and our own health from the destructive impact of tobacco.
No more concessions and no more delays. Move ahead with Bill C-71.