In the 2013 Budget, the government reaffirmed its commitment to the Smoke-
Free Ontario Strategy aimed at protecting the health of Ontarians from tobacco
Ontario is determined to have the lowest smoking rates in Canada and to
reduce the supply of low-cost, illegal tobacco available to young people.
Building stronger partnerships with First Nation communities on issues related to
tobacco remains a priority for the government. Good progress has been made on
pilot projects commenced last year with the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. These discussions have focused on
research and analysis that will help Ontario and the pilot First Nation communities
identify appropriate community-based regulatory approaches for tobacco on
reserve. This opportunity may be expanded to other First Nation communities.
The government is commencing a formal review of the current system of
allocating unmarked cigarettes. Bill 186, Supporting Smoke‐Free Ontario by
Reducing Contraband Tobacco Act, 2011, amended the Tobacco Tax Act to permit
the government to enter into arrangements and agreements with Band Councils
with respect to tobacco on-reserve. First Nation communities will be engaged with
a view to modernizing the current allocation system, which has its limitations.
Given the impact on the tobacco industry and the need to seek broad input from
various stakeholders, the government has decided to delay the implementation
of the raw leaf tobacco oversight system until January 1, 2015.
The government also recognizes the need to address the problem of illegal
tobacco through a balanced approach of enforcement and partnership.
In this regard, the government will continue to work with law enforcement
agencies to seize illegal products and to prosecute those who violate the law.
New enforcement measures will continue to be explored.
Full Economic Statement: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/budget/fallstatement/2013/paper_all.pdf
Below is the Ontario Convenience Stores Association’s Press Release regarding the Ontario Governments Announcement:
Ontario Convenience Stores Encouraged by Fall Economic Statement
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – November 7, 2013) – The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) applauds the mention of illegal tobacco within the province’s Fall Economic Statement that was released today.
“On behalf of the OCSA, I would like to commend the Ontario government for once again acknowledging the importance of combatting illegal tobacco,” said CEO Dave Bryans. “Communities across Ontario have spoken and they want measures in place to reduce the supply of low-cost, illicit tobacco to youth,” adds Bryans.
The Fall Economic Statement also stressed building stronger partnerships with First Nations communities on tobacco issues and the need to address the problem of illegal tobacco through a balanced approach of enforcement and partnership.
“The OCSA has repeatedly called for a balanced approach in combatting contraband-by working with law enforcement agencies and ensuring increased penalties for repeat traffickers, the province will continue to reduce the availability of illegal product,” adds Bryans.
The OCSA is concluding its Communities Against Contraband Tobacco campaign, which has seen over 90% of the province of Ontario via its municipalities, pass motions encouraging the provincial government to follow through on its 2013 budget initiative against illegal tobacco.
About the OCSA
The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) represents more than 7,000 convenience store operators throughout the province who are committed to Responsible Community Retailing. More than 3 million people visit convenience stores in communities across Ontario every day
For further information, please contact:
Lindsay Doyle or Katlyn Harrison
Summa Strategies Canada Inc.