Calls for bigger crackdown on contraband tobacco
OTTAWA — A group partly funded by businesses that make or sell cigarettes says contraband tobacco is still a big problem in Canada.
The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco says that, despite new powers given police to crack down on contraband dealers, sales of bootleg smokes are on the rise in Atlantic Canada.
The coalition says criminal organizations in Ontario and Quebec have also adapted to new laws designed to curb the problem.
The coalition, which is backed by retailers, tobacco manufacturers and growers, among others, says it’s awaiting an extensive anti-contraband report from the RCMP.
That report, reviewing the state of contraband since 2008, was expected to be released by the end of last year.
Tomorrow, a Senate committee will review legislation introduced by the Conservatives in March to toughen penalties for selling contraband tobacco.