TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 21, 2013) - The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) applauded today's inclusion of anti-contraband tobacco measures in the federal budget. The Government has allocated $3 million over two years to hire ten additional police officers in First Nations police services to focus specifically on contraband tobacco. The Harper government recently introduced greater enforcement and penalties for those trafficking contraband tobacco.
"On behalf of the OCSA and alongside the Canadian Convenience Stores Association, I would like to congratulate the federal government for including these anti-contraband measures in the federal budget," said CEO Dave Bryans.
"Contraband tobacco is a major issue for our 7,500 retailers across Ontario, with significant consequences on community safety. The additional RCMP and First Nations officers, coupled with the increased penalties will hopefully have a significant impact in deterring contraband tobacco traffickers, who threaten the safety of Ontarians", said Bryans.
Working with its retailers, the OCSA is conducting a Communities Against Contraband Tobacco campaign, which asks municipal councils to support a motion encouraging further action on contraband tobacco. To date, over 43% of Ontarians are represented by municipalities that have passed motions encouraging the Ontario Minister of Finance to follow through on 2012 budget commitments, which would see increased power for law enforcement in Ontario to deal with contraband offences.
"We are hopeful that this federal commitment will encourage our partners in the Government of Ontario to follow through on its commitments so we can see tangible results in the fight against illegal tobacco."