Quebec sues big tobacco for $60 billion 0
Jean-Marc Fournier. (QMI Agency/JEAN-FRANCOIS DESGAGNES)QMI.
QUEBEC CITY - Quebec is the latest province to sue big tobacco companies to recoup health-care costs related to tobacco products.
Provincial Health Minister Yves Bolduc and Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier said Friday morning that they would sue for $60 billion, three years after the legislature unanimously agreed to the court action.
Quebec wants to recoup health-care costs dating back to 1970 and extending to 2030. The defendants are British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans and Philip Morris.
Quebec says the firms "made false representations and "¦ failed to inform consumers about the dangers and addictive effects of their products. "
The province also says the tobacco companies targeted children and adolescents in its ad campaigns.
"The tobacco companies knew the harm they caused," Bolduc told a news conference in the provincial capital. "The government of Quebec has a very good case."
Last week, Manitoba and Saskatchewan announced their involvement in a separate lawsuit against tobacco giants.
British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador have already filed suits, and Alberta indicated last month it will file a suit to recover $10 billion for health costs.
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are also expected to join in the suit.
A parallel citizens' lawsuit is currently being heard in Montreal, filed by nearly two million Quebecers. Plaintiffs want $27 billion.
The citizens' suit says Imperial Tobacco Canada, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges, and JTI-Macdonald Corp. conspired to hide information about the dangers of smoking.
They're also accused of trivializing the risks of smoking, engaging in false marketing to fool the public about the dangers and risks of smoking, and deliberately violating the rights to life, security and integrity of Quebec citizens.