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MPP Rosario Marchese floats private member’s bill destined to make Doug Ford very, very angry

Marchese v. Ford

Only days after the City of Toronto voted not to further restrict the sale of sugary pop through vending machines on city properties (with Doug Ford’s memorable endorsement of free-market obesity-mongering), an MPP has introduced a bill that must reek of what Ford called “socialism at its best”: Trinity-Spadina incumbent Rosario Marchese wants to ban junk food advertising that targets children. According to the Toronto Star:

As many as one in four kids are overweight or obese in Ontario, [Marchese] added.

In his bill, Marchese explained unhealthy foods — dense in calories with few nutrients — would be defined by Health Canada and Ministry of Health guidelines, he told the Star on Wednesday.

“We are saying, ‘How do we protect young people and their health in the short and long term?’” he said.

Quebec banned children’s advertising in 1980.

Of course, this is an opposition bill, so the odds of it ever actually becoming law are somewhat lower than the odds of Marchese losing to his challenger, Sarah Thomson, this fall. But given the early signs that the provincial election campaign will be all about catering to the anxieties of middle-class families, it’s possible that some form of Marchese’s ideas will make it through Queen’s Park. We eagerly await the announcement of the McGuinty government’s bold new plan for a five-year study on the effects of advertising to children, with voluntary recommendations to be put in place by 2020.

MPP wants to ban junk food ads for kids [Toronto Star]

(Images: Marchese, Tania Liu; Ford,

  • MC

    Why not. If people don’t have enough self control to limit the amount of junk food they eat, the govt has an obligation to legislate common sense. i.e. seat belts and helmet laws. While i agree that we need to be vigilant against gov’t intrusion into our private life, how high do our health care costs need to go as a result of poor nutrition before we all collectively say…”This is a good idea”

  • MJK

    Legislate common sense? You mean like selling you all the booze you want? They only want to control what they can make money on.

  • Chad

    MJK, liquor sales and advertising are both highly regulated.

    Those industries which stand to produce the highest profits from human greed and ignorance are all highly regulated, with the exception of junk food, which has always been treated differently than other vices. We can’t advertise cigarettes on TV; we can’t advertise the purpose of a medication; but, we continue to advertise to children foods proven more likely to lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, attention deficit, mood swings, aggressive behaviour, lower grades, etc.

    This is an issue of public health, and given the ever increasing numbers of barriatric surgeries in Ontario, one of great financial expense to Ontario taxpayers. it’s about time our government stepped up to fight childhood obesity in every logical way possible.

  • David

    In Quebec ANY commercial advertising directed at children under thirteen is forbidden. Makes sense to me. Young children are not able to understand the intent of such ads.

  • Basil

    If you’re stupid enough to allow your child to dictate what you should or should not buy you really do deserve the resulting obesity, diabetes or heart attack that comes your way. It’s time for the government to let people take responsibility for themselves and stop trying to be big brother.