Opinion » Editorial


Man is not the most rational creature on the face of the earth, occasionally he may want to do things that aren’t good for him, that may put his life at risk. Fortunately, in one of his more rational moments, man invented government to protect him from himself. If only there were more government to regulate the eccentric acts some people are prone to man might live safely forever. This, apparently, is the logic behind some recent suggestions. Two weeks ago Health Canada proposed banning production and importation of all unpasteurized cheese. Although cheeses such as Roquefort and Camembert have been produced for centuries, Health Canada feels the bacteria in unpasteurized cheese may pose a health risk. Then, last week, the provincial government moved to close down the Meager Creek hot springs pools because they don’t measure up to the health standards set for public swimming pools. Also last week, a letter to the editor of The Province, perhaps written by a frustrated government worker, suggested all skiers should be licensed. The letter writer asserted that skiing accidents and searches for lost skiers have cost taxpayers so much money it’s time some regulations were established, presumably to ensure some level of competence in operating a pair of skis and an understanding of the rules of the slopes. Unpasteurized cheese, Meager Creek and skiing are targets of government regulation because they lie slightly outside the mainstream of every-day life, which is to say slightly beyond the comprehension of some bureaucrats. The hypocrisy of the whole situation seems to be lost on the regulators. Banning cigarettes wouldn’t even be considered. Alcohol, while heavily regulated, is an acceptable health risk. From time to time there has even been discussion of legalizing heroin. But apparently those dangers to public health pale in comparison to the evil Roquefort. Given this logic it’s not too hard to imagine a government inspector pulling over a four year old on the ski slopes to check his licence or an underground network of cheese connoisseurs clandestinely milking cows to make their own Brie. Rational creatures indeed.