Sudbury·Audio

Contraband tobacco: Ontario bill sought to give cities more power

The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco says illegal tobacco use in Sudbury has gone up almost 12 per cent in one year, and it wants the province to stamp out off-market cigarettes.

Advocacy and business lobby group says illegal tobacco control is up to the province

The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco has been putting up billboards throughout the province, including Sudbury. (Martha Dillman/CBC)
Members of the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco are in Sudbury to try and pitch their cause to by-election candidates. We spoke with the group's executive director, Jacqueline Bradley. 6:52
The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco says illegal tobacco use in Sudbury has gone up almost 12 per cent in one year, and it wants the province to stamp out off-market cigarettes.

The executive director of the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco said it is up to the province to get tough on the issue — and that's why she's meeting with as many Sudbury byelection candidates as she can on Thursday.

Jacqueline Bradley is the exectuive director of the National Coalition Against contraband Tobacco. (stopcontrabandtobacco.ca)
Jacqueline Bradley said she wants to hear if issue is on their radars.

“Contraband tobacco is funding in our communities, guns, gangs, drugs ... even human smuggling.”

Bradley said she wants the province to adopt a similar bill to one in  Quebec that gives powers to municipal authorities to deal with contraband tobacco.

“They can take it from the beginning to the end without having to turn it over to Revenue Canada or the RCMP,” she said.

“They can prosecute, but they allow the municipality to keep some of the profits, which ... is important motivation.”

Bradley said she's also meeting with the director of Subury Crimestoppers with the hope of building a partnership.

Members of the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco include the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Convenience Stores Association, and the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council.

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