BC Liberal leader fought for big tobacco against BC while still being a doctor

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson fought for big tobacco against the province while still being registered as a physician, according to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.

Wilkinson touted over and over again during the campaign that he’s best placed to handle the Covid-19 because of his experience as a physician.

“Wilkinson likes to remind everyone he is a doctor so I asked the question,” a voter from Kelowna told ThinkPol.

The emailed response from the College surprised the voter.

“Dr. Andrew Wilkinson was registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia,” the email from the College read. “Dr. Wilkinson resigned as a registrant of the College in 2013.”

This means that Andrew Wilkinson was still registered as a physician in BC even as he was representing Philip Morris International Inc. in 2011 as it and other big tobacco companies dragged the Attorney General of BC through the court system[1]https://www.canlii.org/en/#search/text=S010421, fighting the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act[2]https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/laws/stat/sbc-2000-c-30/latest/sbc-2000-c-30.html, court records show[3]https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xNmjVe3cC208eWOkSpzXbCt0AlrRzRj9/view?usp=sharing.

In a controversial legal maneuver, Wilkinson and other big tobacco lawyers brought a motion alleging that if the companies were found liable, they would be entitled to compensation from the Government of Canada for “negligent misrepresentation, negligent design, and failure to warn, as well as at equity.”[4]https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ap8dz-s3kGzi-I_tAg9FQqz6NpN1FaKw/view?usp=sharing

“Officials, at all material times, owed a duties of care to consumers, arising from their conduct in the development and implementation of operations programmes and initiatives respecting smoking and health, and in particular respecting tobacco related disease or the risk of tobacco related diseases,” the tobacco industry lawyers argued. “Officials assumed duties to consumers to make reasonable care in the development and implementation of those smoking and health programmes and initiatives.”

The Supreme Court of Canada subsequently dismissed the big tobacco’s action[5] R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., [2011] 3 SCR 45, 2011 SCC 42 (CanLII), (http://canlii.ca/t/fmhcz).

We were not able to reach the BC Liberal leader for comment.

British Columbians have until 8PM today to cast their ballots.

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.canlii.org/en/#search/text=S010421
2. https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/laws/stat/sbc-2000-c-30/latest/sbc-2000-c-30.html
3. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xNmjVe3cC208eWOkSpzXbCt0AlrRzRj9/view?usp=sharing
4. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ap8dz-s3kGzi-I_tAg9FQqz6NpN1FaKw/view?usp=sharing
5. R. v. Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., [2011] 3 SCR 45, 2011 SCC 42 (CanLII), (http://canlii.ca/t/fmhcz)