Nova Scotia

N.S. tobacconist won’t appeal charter challenge ruling

A tobacco store owner in Kentville will not appeal a court decision forcing him to hide its products.

Kentville store owner guilty of displaying cigarettes

Bob Gee was found guilty of displaying products in a way not prescribed by the regulations and storing tobacco in a manner not prescribed by regulations. His Kentville shop was also convicted of the same two charges. (Jack Julian/CBC)

A Nova Scotia tobacconist who openly flouted provincial regulations to keep tobacco products concealed says he won’t appeal a court decision forcing him to hide his products.

Bob Gee, the owner of Mader's Tobacco Store, fought a six-year battle against Nova Scotia's tobacco display laws saying they violate his freedom of expression.

A Nova Scotia judge initially ruled in Gee's favour, but earlier this month  Justice Claudine MacDonald ruled the infringement was justified because of tobacco's poisonous health effects.

Gee's son Jeff said Mader's has already covered up its cigars and cigarettes.

He said customers are getting used to the change.

"Everybody is kind of in shock and awe, because it's been here since 1929 as a tobacco store and to come in here now and see nothing, it's like, ‘Oh, what do you sell?’ Anyways, we'll make changes and keep our business going," he said.

Gee must pay the courts $430, which includes a $200 fine, $200 for costs and $30 for a victim surcharge.

Before the Nova Scotia court ruling, Gee said this was a battle over democracy — pointing out that tobacco is a legal product in Canada.