OTTAWA, May 31, 2014 /CNW/ - The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) applauds the House of Commons for unanimously passing Bill C-10, the Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act. NCACT had spoken in support of this legislation at committee.
"We are very pleased to see the House of Commons move forward with legislation When implemented, C-10 will increase the power of police to address contraband tobacco. Illegal cigarettes make our communities less safe by serving as a cash cow for organized crime. In fact, the RCMP estimates that about 175 criminal gangs use the profits from the trade to finance their other activities, including guns, drugs, and human smuggling," said Grant, a 39-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and Chair of Toronto Crime Stoppers.
The Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act was first introduced during the last session of Parliament. It creates new penalties for tobacco smuggling, including mandatory minimums for repeat offenders. The government has also committed to establishing a 50 officer RCMP anti-contraband task force. This legislation and RCMP task force were campaign commitments in 2011.
The NCACT believes that this legislation is a meaningful action towards addressing the problem of contraband tobacco, and will give police more power to deal with cigarette smugglers. However, there is still more that can be done. Greater cooperation among all levels of government is needed, as is more public education about the harms of contraband tobacco.
"With this legislation, the government is taking an important step forward in dealing with illegal cigarettes. Given that the Senate has previously considered this legislation, we hope that they will consider and pass it expeditiously," concluded Grant. "The sooner that this bill can become law, the sooner police will be able to use it to stop criminals."
The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco is a Canadian advocacy group formed by organizations and associations concerned about the growing danger of contraband cigarettes. NCACT members share the goals of working together to educate people and urge government to take quick action to stop this growing threat.
The members of the NCACT are: Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec (ADA), Association des marchands dépanneurs et épiciers du Québec (AMDEQ), Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA), Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council, Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), Customs and Immigration Union, Échec au crime Québec, Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ), Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA), National Convenience Stores Distributors Association (NACDA), Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Retail Council of Canada, Toronto Crime Stoppers and United Korean Commerce and Industry Association (UKCIA).
SOURCE: National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT)
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