MONTREAL, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA) reacted today to the cabinet shuffle announced last Tuesday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. According to the association, the cabinet shuffle could have a positive impact in the fight against tobacco smuggling which currently costs governments more than $2 billion annually and contributes to the development and financing of an increasingly organized network of criminals while making tobacco more available and affordable to youth.
CCSA expressed its regret over the departure of Jean-Pierre Blackburn as Minister of Revenue. "Mr Blackburn was the strongest ally of convenience store owners in the cabinet and was among those who want to stop tobacco smuggling in Canada. Minister Blackburn got the job well done as Revenue Minister. We view his departure from this Ministry with regret and wish him luck in his new role", said Michel Gadbois, Executive Vice-President of the CCSA.
The Association hopes that the new Minister of Revenue, Mr Keith Ashfield, will build upon his predecessor's legacy in the fight against smuggling.
CCSA views the change at the Ministry of Public Safety as good news since former minister Peter Van Loan had shown little interest in this issue. "We hope we will finally be able to work with a minister that is more than willing to mobilize every resources in putting an end to tobacco smuggling", noted Mr Gadbois.
The association is happy that the new Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, has been justice minister at the federal and provincial level. "We expect to see a minister who has a deep understanding of the criminal impact of contraband and who will be more open to the RCMP's recommendations", said Mr Gadbois.
Finally, CCSA wishes to announce that it intends to meet soon with the two new ministers to raise awareness of the issue and make them understand the very real impact of smuggling on the survival of convenience stores, on cigarette consumption by our children and on the illicit drugs and arms trade.
SOURCE Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA)
For further information: For further information: Guy Leroux, Canadian Convenience Stores Association, (514) 993-1729, firstname.lastname@example.org