WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government has cleared the way for it to sue big tobacco companies for health-care costs.

A law put forward by the NDP government that paves the way for litigation is now in effect.

Justice Minister Andrew Swan says treating diseases caused by smoking has been a big burden on health care.

Manitoba is co-ordinating its efforts with other provinces, including British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

The Alberta government said Wednesday it will seek to recover $10 billion from tobacco companies to cover the estimated cost of caring for patients with smoking-related illnesses dating back to the 1950s.

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