Rather, a paltry $5,000. We want to increase it to $5 million. I believe $5 million should be the minimum. Perhaps we could make it more than that.
This is impossible if all the stakeholders work independently. The federal government absolutely must coordinate the effort of the various organizations and departments because only one concerted effort will be able to address all the different aspects of tobacco addiction: prevention, education or even repressive measures against suppliers of contraband.
As I have said, there must be an overall approach to smoking. We cannot just go after the tobacco smugglers or raise the price of cigarettes. We really must have a concerted overall approach to all stakeholders to ensure that there are prevention activities in the schools, to go after the smugglers, and to use even more vigorous advertising to discourage young people from starting to smoke.
Mainly, we must try to discourage these manufacturers of harmful, dangerous products from advertising them with attractive campaigns to woo young smokers. They encourage young people to “try it, just a little”. They smoke a cigarillo or two, and the next thing they know they are smokers for life.
Finally, the Bloc Québécois believes that all measures focused on contraband cigarettes and cigarette smuggling on the reserves must be taken in conjunction with the aboriginal authorities. Cooperation in this area is vital, in order to identify and target the criminal organizations.
The purpose of Bill C-32 is a praiseworthy one: to discourage young people from smoking by limiting the availability of tobacco products and reducing the types of products available. The bill is also intended to correct some of the present shortcomings of the Tobacco Act, particularly the exception that permits tobacco advertising in publications with an adult readership of not less than 85%. This has led to the situation of such ads being placed in free newspapers or magazines that are readily accessible to young people.
To draw a parallel with what I was just saying a few minutes ago—and I will be brief because I am getting the one minute sign—I want to address the fact that young people are allowed to smoke in the school yard. So there are really some major shortcomings in the Tobacco Act and a concerted effort is needed to try and reduce smoking among young people. That is why the Bloc Québécois supports Bill C-32, despite the presence of certain points that perhaps need looking at in committee. We—my colleague from Verchères—Les Patriotes, who has done an excellent job on the Standing Committee on Health, and I—will make it our duty to try to wipe out tobacco addiction among young people.