The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) has commended the government of Quebec for contributing $4 million to the city of Montreal to fight the contraband tobacco trade.
At the same time it has contrasted Quebec’s action to the apparent lack of action by the government of Ontario.
“Illegal cigarettes are a serious problem in Quebec and Ontario, and this action taken by [Quebec’s] government is an important step in the right direction in the fight against contraband,” said Gary Grant, NCACT spokesperson and 39-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service.
“The illegal cigarette trade in Quebec remains extremely volatile. By committing additional funds, Quebec’s government recognized that more remains to be done to control the negative impact the illegal cigarette trade continues to have across the province.”
Later, Grant said the Quebec government was giving the issue the serious attention it deserved. “Ontario must do the same,” he said. “The province has committed to tough new anti-contraband measures in the last two provincial budgets. It is important the government follow through on these commitments.
“There is more contraband tobacco in Ontario than [in] any other province, and the problem won’t improve unless that government takes concrete and meaningful action to address this problem.
“Commitments are meaningless without action,” concluded Grant. “Ontario must take action.”