06/12/2012 07:34 EDT | Updated 08/12/2012 05:12 EDT

P.E.I. proclaims legislation that will allow it to sue the tobacco industry

CHARLOTTETOWN - The P.E.I. government has proclaimed legislation that will allow the province to take legal action against manufacturers and promoters of tobacco products in a bid to recover health-care costs.

Justice Minister Janice Sherry says treating diseases caused by smoking has created an extraordinary burden on the Island's health-care system.

She says the province's lawsuit will claim for the recovery of provincial health-care expenditures on behalf of P.E.I. taxpayers.

In the fall of 2011, Prince Edward Island retained a legal consortium to represent the province.

Last Friday, the Quebec government announced a $60-billion lawsuit against the tobacco industry.

Five provinces have now filed similar lawsuits — British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec — while five others have announced plans to do the same.