The Earth is Flat Award for August 1996

There were a few contestants for the Earth is Flat Award for August, but without a doubt, the best candidate is the entire Toronto City Council. In July the Council voted to ban cigarette smoke from all restaurants and bars beginning on January 1, 1997. Vancouver also voted to accomplish a similar task recently. A recent amendment to allow smoking in a sealed off ventilated room was defeated.

This law is doomed to fail. The city does not have enough inspectors to insure that bars and restaurants become smoke free. Some predict that most bars and restaurants will simply ignore the law for fear of losing a sizable chunk of the minority smoking population who will go to those places that do allow them their guilty pleasure.

Why is this law so wrong? If you're one of those anti-smoking fascists then please click on the 'Return to front page' link on the bottom of this page. People like you are generally not open to talk of real rights. I'm not talking about the right to smoke -- but rather the right of private property. This is not a health issue, but a question of the fundamental difference between the 'right' of society versus the right of the individual.

Like it or not, bars and restaurants are ultimately owned by someone. The government does not have the right to regulate what a human being does with their property. Period. If the owner of a bar or restaurant (or anything else for that matter) wishes to ban or permit smoking, it is their choice. Just because something is open to the public does not mean that the public has a right to tell the owner how to run their establishment. If you don't like it, use your economic power and go somewhere else.

Private property is one of the most basic human rights. Without private property we are reduced to the level of serfs, owned by the government. Private property is a basic tenet of capitalism, the only economic system that is free.

All governments must realize that they do not have the right to force on businesses regulations that they may or may not want. It is not the province of government to decide how someone will dispose of their property.

So to the Toronto City Council, here is your Earth is Flat Award statute. I hope you enjoy it.

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