Thiel ignores practicality in fast food tax

Who is going to judge which foods are “junk” and which restaurants are “fast food”? Dr. Thiel? The government?

To the editor:

In response to Dr. Markus Thiel in the October 26 edition of The Capital News: (Time to Start Paying for Living an Unhealthy Lifestyle).

Dr. Thiel believes that junk food and fast food restaurants should pay more tax. Who is going to judge which foods are “junk” and which restaurants are “fast food”? Dr. Thiel? The government?

Who is going to review the thousands of food items sold in Canada and determine “in” or “out”?

Who is going to visit every diner, restaurant, food truck, cafeteria and hot dog stand to determine which ones should pay more tax and on which menu items? Who is going to enforce these rules?

We currently have a hard time enforcing regulations at a handful of meat packing plants let alone at thousands of eateries. Has Dr. Thiel considered what this would cost? Likely 10 times more than the taxes he proposes to collect.

We can’t agree on whether a new electric meter is safe with people not believing the scientists on either side. Can you imagine that same process applied to something as emotional as our food supply (not to mention our right to decide our own fate)?

How can the average consumer keep track when the so-called nutrition experts can’t agree? Then put millions of dollars of taxation at stake and watch the fun begin.

Dr. Thiel states that “an annual gym membership is $540.” Is he suggesting that the government will buy everyone a gym membership? Disregarding the thousands of people who live nowhere near a gym, is he suggesting that if the government were to provide already-sedentary people with a free gym membership that they would suddenly “see the light” and whip themselves into shape?

Currently, there are thousands of people who could afford a gym membership but, for reasons other than cost, choose not to. Why should customers of fast food restaurants buy gym memberships for people who don’t want them and would likely never use them? What if I don’t use my free membership? Am I going to be punished in some other way?

Dr. Thiel says “that still leaves $4,000 for each citizen to pursue health in ways that are not pharmaceutical or critical care.”

Is everyone going to get a gym membership and $4,000? Or, is the government going to use that $4,000 in some new magic way to help us all become healthy?

Currently, $150 billion is spent in Canada every year on health care. Does Dr. Thiel really believe that giving the government another $150 million (only 0.1 per cent of the current total) will make a difference? Given the amount of waste in our health care system, more money won’t help.

If throwing money at the problem was going to fix things, we would have straightened it out a long time ago.

Governments have many important functions, but telling me what to eat is not one of them.


Lloyd Vinish,


Just Posted

Car thief nabbed by Mounties on wildfire duty

RCMP working wildfires deploy spike belt to nab alleged auto thief from Oliver.

Okanagan Wildfires: An evening update on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday evening look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Update: Mount Eneas wildfire holds at 1,374 hectares

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Update: Power restored to 2,000 Lake Country homes

The cause of the outage is unknown

Update: Okanagan Mountain Park fire holds at 400 hectares

The wildfire, also called Goode’s Creek wildfire, continues to burn near Kelowna

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Update: Wildfire near Summerland mapped at 118 hectares

The Mount Conkle wildfire is 90 per cent guarded

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

RDOS fire update: emergency social services moved

Centre moved to Penticton Memorial Arena for Saturday and Sunday

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read