Imperial Tobacco Canada welcomes Bill 59 but cautions Quebec cannot succeed


MONTREAL, Nov. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Imperial Tobacco Canada welcomes Bill 59, an Act to amend the Tobacco Tax Act and other legislative provisions primarily to counter tobacco smuggling, and is now looking to the federal government to show leadership in eliminating contraband tobacco.

"Imperial Tobacco Canada is pleased to see that the Quebec government recognizes the negative social and economic impacts of contraband tobacco," said John Clayton, vice president, Corporate Affairs, Imperial Tobacco Canada. "Without proper enforcement, such legislation will not succeed in its intent. Bill 59 has the potential to help crack down on illegal tobacco sales but, unfortunately, contraband has now reached alarming proportions in the rest of Canada; Quebec alone will not be able to solve this problem."

Today, more than one third of the Canadian tobacco industry is illegal, unregulated, and untaxed. Illegal sales represent 50 per cent of the tobacco market in Ontario and 40 per cent in Quebec. Until the federal government takes action in support of the provinces, this problem will continue.

"There are a number of issues, such as border security, that cannot be addressed by provincial authorities and for which the federal government must take action," said Mr. Clayton. "When will other ministers join Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn in recognizing the consequences of contraband and start demonstrating the leadership promised in the 2008 contraband tobacco enforcement strategy, including shutting down illegal factories".

SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada

For further information: For further information: Media: Eric Gagnon, Manager, External Communications, Imperial Tobacco Canada, (514) 932-6161 ext. 2113

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