Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The tobacco industry is getting a 10th relaxation for the financial performance of the drink

JTI-Macdonald Corp, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and Tobacco Imperial Canada Ltd were in financial trouble when the Quebec Court of Appeal forced them in March 2019 to compensate nearly $15 billion to 100,000 victims of smoking in this province.

They therefore have until September 29, 2023, ie, 6 months, as requested, to present a restructuring plan that satisfies all parties.

The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health, which represents Quebec victims in this case, instead asked for three months at a hearing in Toronto on Tuesday.

The Ontario Superior Court’s decision was unexpected, as it comes just hours before the March 31, 2023 deadline.

In his judgment, Justice Thomas McEwen wrote that there was no suggestion that the tobacco companies had acted in bad faith or shown unfair diligence.

He confirms that the business has progressed and a lawyer for the Ontario government also explained in a hearing on Tuesday that they will soon bring results.

He is now in good faith in the eyes of the senate, and writes the magistrates in cases.

Judge McEwen adds that a delay of only 3 months could have the opposite effect than expected and cause confusion between negotiators, mediators and officials.

Tobacco companies still continue to sell their products as they try to avoid bankruptcy.

Photo: Radio-Canada / CBC / Robert Short

This financial process is the longest in Canadian judicial annals.

The magistrate, however, argued that the lawyers’ arguments about the diseases of tobacco and their families were convincing.

Although I grant new notices of 6 months, this does not mean that the continuation of the negotiations should be approached without a certain sense of urgency.

The judge further encourages all parties to intensify their efforts to end their roles on a positive note.

The three companies explained to their customers that they needed an additional six months to continue their renovations and that they had enough money to continue their operations until then.

They acted well, all parties dealt in good faith and the tobacco companies sympathized with the victims and their families.

The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health has spoken out about the abuse of processes and the lack of transparency, since negotiations are more confidential.

Nation World News Desk
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