Text of letter from Heather Crowe to all Ministers responsible for workplace safety and health
25 November 2002
I am the same Heather Crowe named and pictured in the attached advertisement sponsored by Health Canada. I want to be the last person to die from second-hand smoke at work.
In our country, I can only realize this goal with your help, and the help of all your federal, provincial and territorial colleagues, the Ministers responsible for workplace health and safety legislation in Canada.
In the laws and regulations you administer, all employers have a general duty to protect workers’ health. Since any exposure to second-hand smoke is hazardous to health, employers are shirking their duty by continuing to allow smoking in the workplace. You, as the Minister responsible for workplace health and safety, can help employers live up to their legal obligations by banning smoking in workplaces – all workplaces, with no exceptions. Exceptions for bars and restaurants only devalue the health and safety of bar and restaurant workers like me. Waiters and waitresses do not have second-class lungs and there is no reason that we should continue to have second-class protection for our health.
I urge you to act now to ban smoking in all workplaces under your jurisdiction. I would welcome an opportunity for me and my friends from Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada to discuss this matter with you in person.
If you should decide to create regulations providing full protection from second-hand smoke to all workers in your jurisdiction, I will be happy to provide whatever support and assistance I can.
I hope to hear from you soon.