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The three Canadian companies obtained court protection from their creditors in March 2019.

Bankruptcy of the tobacco giants: a 12th reprieve in sight.

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JTI-Macdonald, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco Canada request that the deadline be extended to September 30, 2024 (File photo).

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The tobacco companies JTI-Macdonald, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco will ask an Ontario judge Monday morning for a 12th stay to continue their financial restructuring after five years of negotiations with their creditors.

The three companies have been in financial difficulty since the Quebec Court of Appeal forced them in March 2019 to compensate 100,000 victims of smoking in that province to the tune of some $14 billion.

The protection enjoyed by the three cigarette companies expires Friday, but their lawyers are seeking an additional six-month extension, this time until September 30 2024.

This morning's hearing is likely to be interesting, since the judge Chief of the Superior Court of Ontario, Geoffrey Morawetz, is now in charge of the file

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The lawyer for the Quebec victims, Mark Meland, said, during the last hearing 6 months ago in Toronto, that these requests for a stay were similar more about negotiation tactics.

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Negotiations between tobacco companies and their creditors take place on the 8th floor of the Ontario Superior Court.

Mr. Meland says he regrets that the message from the previous judge in March 2023 about the urgency of ending the talks fell on deaf ears.

It's time to light a fire under their seats, he said, because the ;#x27;Judge McEwen's optimism was, according to him, premature when he told them at the time that the talks were going well.

Judge Morawetz replied that he sympathized with the fate of the victims. I am aware that your clients are dying and others will continue to die, he said.

Radio-Canada does not know, however, whether any of the parties involved in this case intend to oppose the request of the three companies.

In an email, the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control does not say it is surprised, because the process itself is to their advantage and dedicated to keeping the industry in business.

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Flory Doucas is the co-director of the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control.

Its co-director, Flory Doucas, says on the other hand she is dismayed by the silence of Quebec and Ontario in this matter, because these two provinces have, according to her, the capacity to bring this process to fruition in a completely different direction if they acted together.

However, the provinces continue to place their trust in a process that favors the viability of a deadly industry, instead of compensating Quebec victims in a timely manner and accelerating the radical change in industrial behavior at the root of millions of deaths. preventable.

A quote from Flory Doucas, co-director of the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control

Ms. Doucas repeats that the three companies continue with impunity to market new products, causing damage to the health and well-being of new smokers, not to mention the possible costs to the health system.

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Attorney Rob Cunningham is a Senior Policy Analyst to the Canadian Cancer Society.

The Canadian Cancer Society adds that the numerous delays in this legal saga make so that many victims of the Quebec class action died without having received fair compensation.

His lawyer, Rob Cunningham, whose Company has obtained observer status in this litigation, speaks of a situation tragic.

These delays also mean that measures to reduce tobacco consumption have still not been implemented in a possible settlement with creditors.

A quote from Rob Cunningham, lawyer for the Canadian Society of cancer

Me Cunningham argues that the provinces should make these health measures the top priority of the negotiations and seize an opportunity unique history to bend the industry.

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The Quebec Court of Appeal concluded that the three tobacco companies had failed in their duty to inform their customers about the dangers of tobacco. (File photo)

The lawyer wants at least 10% of Company profits are donated to an independent fund to reduce tobacco consumption. Any promotion of tobacco should also be banned, he says.

All internal company secret documents should also be banned. elsewhere be made public. Companies should finally make substantial additional payments if the targets their creditors have set are not met.

The three companies filed for protection under the federal Creditors Arrangement Act after losing an appeal against a class action by more than 100,000 Quebecers suffering from nicotine addiction or addiction. x27;a tobacco disease.

The Quebec Court of Appeal confirmed the judgment of& #x27;a lower court that ordered the three companies to pay nearly $15 billion in damages to smokers in that province.

It concluded, just like the Superior Court of Quebec in 2015, that cigarette manufacturers had failed in their duty to inform their customers about the dangers of tobacco.

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The adversaries tobacco companies deplore the fact that they have continued to sell their products for five years.

After their defeat, the three companies turned to an Ontario court for protection.

The judge Glenn Hainey, of the Ontario Superior Court, therefore suspended the judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal and, at the same time, all legal proceedings initiated against tobacco companies in Canada, including that of the Ontario government.

The provinces and territories are trying to recover the sums of& #x27;money that they have invested for years in the care of tobacco patients. British Columbia was the first to get the ball rolling 20 years ago before other provinces followed suit.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates these sums at more than $500 billion, including $330 billion for the province of Ontario alone.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116