Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

What's Pallister smoking?

  • Print
Outgoing Portage-Lisgar MP Brian Pallister issued a press release today slagging the nearby Long Plain First Nation for allowing smoking in its VLT lounge and conference centre, and chastising the province for not enforcing the province-wide smoking ban on reserves.That's interesting, I said to myself as I waited for the teachers' pension hearings to begin. This will give me a chance to speak to Pallister, which I have never done before, which says something about him and me. I fired off calls to Pallister, Chief Dennis Meeches and the province for comment and then I realised Pallister had it exactly wrong.The province can't enforce the ban on First Nations. It doesn't apply there and never has, and the courts said so. In a back-and-forth case that ended in March, Manitoba's Court of Appeal reaffirmed the rights of First Nations to be exempt from provincial law. That was, you'll recall, the case of Treherne bar owner Robert Jenkinson who challenged the law as unfair because it applied only to off-reserve bars like his. The court sided with the First Nations, not Mr. Jenkinson.At best Pallister made a silly mistake. At worst, it's a totally disingenuous bit of spin meant to make the province and Long Plain look bad, one that assumes that every reporter will be as dumb as I momentarily was. Pallister even quoted the orignal Clearwater decision that found in Jenkinson's favour, a decision that was criticized by constitutional experts and firmly overturned on appeal.Since it can't legislate, the province is using the backdoor, refusing to renew VLT licenses unless First Nations bars go smoke-free, like Brokenhead's South Beach Casino did. Long Plain's license isn't up yet, according to the province.Back in 2006, Prentice was asked about a national ban that would apply fairly to everyone, including First Nations, and he said he didn't support one. "I don't think it's appropriate for the federal government to pass a piece of legislation that applies to all First Nations on this issue," he told The Sun.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first covering city hall and then the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter. Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school. She has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category.

She was a Southam journalism fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College in 2012-13, where she studied indigenous issues, urban planning and political science. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists and has served on several boards.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

Twitter

Ads by Google