A sin tax on sugary drinks unfairly targets Indigenous communities instead of improving health

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“Sin taxes” are a tried, although not necessarily true, strategy for reducing harm connected to alcohol and tobacco. Calls for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages are supported by a large body of evidence linking weight gain and Type 2 diabetes, to excess consumption of these drinks. This response is supported by the World Health Organization, among others, to offset negative health and economic effects.

The idea of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages has caught the attention of political leaders in Canada, too. However, this paternalistic “we know best” approach ignores the most obvious needs and rights of Indigenous Peoples. Rather than seeing the harms of colonization to Indigenous Peoples, governments are fixating on how to tax the Coke in their hands.

Imposing a sugary beverage tax on Indigenous con

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