Is Ontario’s Budget Leaving Millions In Tobacco Smugglers Pockets?

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From: National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT)

Ontario Budget Leaves Millions In Tobacco Smugglers Pockets

Ontario should look to Quebec, where enhanced enforcement netted $180 million in 2015-2016

TORONTO, April 27, 2017 /CNW/ – Once again, the Ontario provincial budget missed an opportunity to introduce the most effective measures to address Ontario’s booming contraband tobacco trade. 2017 marks the 5th year since Ontario announced that it was “actively” looking into measures that were successfully implemented in other provinces, like Quebec. If anything, the budget will exacerbate the contraband problem by moving away from the predictable inflationary tobacco tax increases that were just announced in the last budget.

“Yet again, Ontario has failed to introduce measures that would have the greatest effect in reducing the province’s out of control contraband problem,” said Gary Grant, a 39-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and national spokesperson for the NCACT. “1 in 3 cigarettes purchased in Ontario are already contraband, and in some places the rate is 64%. 175 criminal gangs involved in the trade continue to profit and fund their other illegal activities, including guns, drugs and human smuggling.”

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