Smoking rates in Nova Scotia continue to decline. The annual Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, released today, Thursday, Aug. 11, shows that the 2004 smoking rate in Nova Scotia was at 20 per cent in 2004, a decline from 30 per cent in 2000 and from 22 per cent in 2003. The numbers represent about 78,000 fewer Nova Scotians smoking in 2004 than 2000. “This is good news,” said Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald. “In 2006, with the introduction of the 100 per cent ban on smoking in public and work places, we expect smoking rates will go down even further.” Nova Scotia Health Promotion officials say the steady decline in smoking rates can be attributed to the comprehensive Tobacco Control Strategy. The plan uses a multi-pronged approach to address smoking rates in the province, and its success is due in large part to the participation of many stakeholders. The strategy will continue its work on community-based programming, cessation programs, youth prevention, and social marketing. Although the 2004 report shows that smoking rates in Nova Scotia have declined by two percentage points since 2003, the number is not considered statistically significant. The survey also shows that the number of cigarettes Nova Scotians smoke each day is steadily declining — from an average of 17.7 a day in 2000 to 14.9 a day in 2004. The average number smoked in 2003 was 15.1. For more information on the tobacco control strategy, see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/ohp/tcu/default.htm .
31 March 2010The International Criminal Court (ICC) today granted the prosecutor’s request to investigate crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Kenya in post-election ethnic violence two years ago, when some 1,000 people were killed and 300,000 others forced to flee their homes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) today granted the prosecutor’s request to investigate crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Kenya in post-election ethnic violence two years ago, when some 1,000 people were killed and 300,000 others forced to flee their homes.Last November, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo sought authorization to open an investigation into the violence after the disputed December 2007 polls in which President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is now Prime Minister. Earlier this month in a sealed list to the ICC he named 20 people he says were most responsible.“The information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed on Kenyan territory,” the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber II found in a majority decision of two to one issued in The Hague, where the court is based. “The majority moreover found that all criteria for the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction were satisfied, to the standard of proof applicable at this stage.”Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, dissenting, held that the crimes in Kenya do not qualify as crimes against humanity under the jurisdictional ambit of the Rome Statute, which established the court, and which Kenya ratified in 2005.He concluded that there was no reasonable basis to believe that the crimes in Kenya were committed in an attack against a civilian population pursuant to or in furtherance of a policy stemming from a State or an organization, which he said was required by Article 7 of the Statute.The majority decision by Judges Ekaterina Trendafilova and Cuno Tarfusser cited the low threshold applicable at this stage of the proceedings. When he sought the authorization, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo said Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga, who agreed to serve in a power-sharing administration following the violence, had promised to cooperate with any investigation. “There is a reasonable basis to believe that the attacks against Kenyan civilians during the post-election violence constitute crimes against humanity under the ICC’s jurisdiction,” he said then.