Manitoba

Manitoba native smoke shop served with injunction

A First Nations smoke shop that sells untaxed cigarettes in western Manitoba has been officially served with a court injunction ordering its closure.

Business remains as usual at Dakota Chundee store, says chief

The Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop near Pipestone, Man., has been selling untaxed Mohawk cigarettes since it opened on Nov. 9. The store has been raided several times. (CBC)

A First Nations smoke shop that sells untaxed cigarettes in western Manitoba has been officially served with a court injunction ordering its closure.

The Manitoba government confirms that the injunction, which gives it the authority to close the Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop near Pipestone, Man., was posted on Monday.

The province won the injunction last week as part of its legal battle with the smoke shop, which has been selling cigarettes without a licence since it opened on Nov. 9.

In addition to barring the Dakota Chundee shop from selling cigarettes illegally, the injunction also makes it illegal for anyone to buy cigarettes there.

The injunction is temporary, while a judge hears the province's case against the eight Dakota Plains and Canupawakpa First Nations who have operated the store.

But Canupawakpa Dakota Chief Franklin Brown told CBC News the store will stay open, and business will be the same as usual, despite the court order.

Cigarettes sold for less than half of regular price

Located on off-reserve land about 80 kilometres southwest of Brandon, Man., the Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop sells untaxed cigarettes for less than half the regular price.

The shop's owners face charges under the Tobacco Tax Act and the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act. They appeared in court in Brandon on Monday, but the matter was remanded to July 5.

The store was opened in part to draw attention to the Canupawakpa First Nation's court battle with the federal government over treaty status.

Brown has argued that the Dakota people don't fall under provincial jurisdiction and they should be allowed to operate under their own laws.

"There's no agreed jurisdictions yet. There's no compromise with Dakota and the province to co-exist; it's not there," Brown said Monday.

A provincial government spokesperson said further action may be considered if the shop remains open, but would not specify what that action would be.