A Calabrian Mafia expert doubts the group is criminally active in Thunder Bay, but he said a few members may live in the community.
Dozens of people flocked to hear Toronto-based author Antonio Nicaso speak about Italy's political and economic situation at Thunder Bay's Italian Cultural Centre Wednesday evening.
But Nicaso is best known for his expertise on the notorious Calabrian Mafia, or 'Ndrangheta.
Although an Italian investigation in 2011 suggested there is an 'Ndrangheta cell in Thunder Bay, Nicaso told CBC he believes it involves very few people and highly doubts they are criminally active.
He said it's unlikely Mafia leaders would try to bolster the group's presence in Thunder Bay.
"Usually what 'Ndrangheta is looking for is to invest money and to [launder] the money," said Nicaso. "So they use larger cities where they can hide better than a small community like Thunder Bay."
Still, Nicaso said Canada needs to investigate 'Ndrangheta more in depth and find out more about where its members are located in the country.
Nicaso said he believes authorities aren't making fighting organized crime a priority. He said that could be because crime groups like 'Ndrangheta are quietly laundering drug money, without drawing attention to themselves through violence on the streets.
"Because there is no violence, (the authorities) assume there is no problem," he said.
Nicaso said 'Ndrangheta brings huge amounts of illegal narcotics money into Canada every year.