Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Feds get tough on tobacco

The federal government introduced a bill in the Senate that gets tough on black-market tobacco.

It comes years after the leaders of the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Marketing Board pleaded for stricter enforcement because black-market tobacco was undermining their supply management.

Supply management eventually collapsed.

During the final years of the struggle to survive, the George Morris Centre issued a report arguing that the government failure to enforce its laws undermined the marketing board, therefore the government ought to buy out the farmers’ quotas.

The federal government eventually offered farmers a buyout, but the Ontario government did not join in with the customary 40 per cent in shared federal-provincial programs for farmers.

The Harper government’s bill creates a new crime category – trafficking in contraband tobacco – establishes minimum sentences