Taxes on tobacco and junk food, restrictions of advertising to children, attempts to address problem gambling, and other strategies can be sound policies in appropriate circumstances to promote healthy choices. But their effectiveness can face a lot of hurdles. Initiatives in one jurisdiction can be limited by the failure to act by other societies and by the virtual world impinging on the efforts of the real one. In this increasingly interdependent and connected world we need more local, international and global policy making and enforcement.
Residents of the border town of Bellingham, Washington are calling for "American-only" shopping hours at the local Costco, which is routinely crowded with Canadian cross border shoppers. Around the world, the stereotype of the "ugly American" tourist is built on blundering offenses against local sensibilities. Canadians should remember that the towns they visit are somebody's home, take an interest in local festivals and community gatherings, reach out and get to know locals.