Thursday, September 14, 2006
Ontarioans are FUNNY!
You would think that the government of Ontario - and most certainly the elected officials there - would be trying to put their province in the most positive, gracious, welcoming light when the world's light is shining on them. (With the Toronto Film Festival going on right now and the biggest movie stars in the world in the city there right now).
But leave it to the province of Ontario to threaten arrest to one of the world's biggest movie star's because he - GASP - smoked a cigarette - BEFOULED THE INDOOR AIR - of people attending his press conference - and thereby breaking the law of the province of Ontario. And it was all captured in photographs and videotape - so the evidence is irrefutable.
Poor Sean Penn. If dog's who bear the characteristics of pit bulls thought they had it bad because Michael Bryant had it in for them - imagine what the Ontario Health Promotion Minister could do once he got going! My oh my....
ps: Once again, may I say I'm VERY glad I live in the land of the free - also known as NOVA SCOTIA!
Here's the article from today's Chronicle Herald:
Ontario wants Penn to butt out
By KEITH LESLIE The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn should be charged with violating the province’s smoking ban after he puffed his way through a news conference promoting his latest movie at the Toronto International Film Festival, Ontario Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson said Wednesday.
Photos of Penn enjoying a cigarette during the news conference have been splashed across local and national newspapers since the actor arrived in Toronto last week for the annual festival.
"No one is above the law, whether it’s Sean Penn or someone at the local tavern," Watson said.
"Sean Penn’s a great actor, but quite frankly . . . mif he was smoking and in breach of the law, he could be charged, and he should be charged."
Watson also said public health inspectors could be doing a better job of enforcing the controversial ban at film festival venues, where Penn and other stars have often been seen with cigarettes in hand.
"If we know that there are continuous annual re-occurrences of problems like that, perhaps the Toronto Public Health Unit should be more proactive," he said.
"I certainly would hope that the Toronto International Film Festival would remind (movie stars), in a not-so-subtle fashion, that guests coming here shouldn’t simply go out and (thumb) their nose at our laws."
Dr. Sheela Basrur, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said it was up to organizers of events like the film festival and the managers of the host hotels to ensure guests were aware of the smoking ban, and to make sure it was followed.
"Before we go out talking about enforcement officers and whose uniform is going to be on the scene, we need to first ensure that the managers of these events and facilities comply with their obligations under the law," Basrur said.
"(Penn’s smoking) has certainly been an item of significant attention . . . and I expect Toronto Public Health to follow provincial protocols in investigating."
Film festival organizers said Wednesday that they do make sure visiting stars are informed about the smoking ban.
"The festival and our hotel partners make every effort possible to ensure that our guests are aware and respect Ontario’s smoke-free act," said TIFF spokesman Denny Alexander.
"We apologize that our moderator did not address this issue during (Penn’s) press conference."
Reporters at the Toronto festival attempted to ask Penn’s wife, Robin Wright Penn, about his smoking during an event Wednesday to mark her new movie, but the moderator cut off the question.
Charges can’t be laid until the health unit receives an official complaint about Penn’s decision to smoke at the Sutton Place hotel, which hasn’t yet happened.
Toronto city Coun. Joe Mihevc, a member of the city’s board of health, said Wednesday an investigation was underway and that either Penn or the hotel could be charged.