OTTAWA, Dec. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Yesterday, the National Coalition Against
Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) appeared before the House of Commons
Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights as part of its study
into Bill C-10, the Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act. Gary Grant, NCACT's national spokesperson, spoke in support of the
"We are pleased to testify in favour of legislation that increases 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. "In fact,
La Presse recently highlighted the involvement of Hells Angels in the
illegal cigarette trade in Montreal, including the elaborate criminal
distribution network that these gangsters used to move and sell
cigarettes in Quebec."
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, particularly if paired
with more "boots on the ground" via improved resources for law
enforcement officials. 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. We hope that it will be
passed quickly by the House of Commons and Senate," concluded Grant.
To read NCACT's testimony from the committee, please visit bit.ly/NCACTC10.
The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco is a Canadian advocacy
group formed with the participation of businesses, organizations and
individuals 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
The members of the NCACT include: Canadian Convenience Stores
Association (CCSA), Retail Council of Canada, Canadian Taxpayers
Federation, Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council, National
Convenience Stores Distributors Association (NACDA), Canadian Chamber
of Commerce, Frontier Duty Free Association, Flue-Cured Tobacco
Growers, Fédération des Chambres de Commerce du Québec (FCCQ), Conseil
du Patronat du Québec (CPQ), l'Association des marchands dépanneurs et
épiciers du Québec (AMDEQ), Toronto Crime Stoppers, National Citizen's
coalition, The Customs & Immigration Union (CIU), the Ontario Chamber
of Commerce, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, and
l'Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec (ADA).
SOURCE: National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT)
For further information:
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