BELLEVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) is pleased to recognize the support of the Belleville City Council, in passing a motion against contraband tobacco at a meeting held Tuesday, November 13th. The motion requests that the Mayor of Belleville write a letter encouraging the Ontario Minister of Finance to follow through on promises to increase resources in the fight against contraband tobacco.
"The distribution and sale of contraband tobacco is a growing concern in the Belleville area. Highway 401 serves as vital distribution route for illegal cigarettes, giving smugglers access to multiple cities and towns," said Dave Bryans, CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association. Earlier this year, the Hastings and Prince Edward County Health unit acknowledged that contraband tobacco continues to be a major public health issue in the area, as highlighted by an RCMP billboard campaign launched in Belleville. "We would like to thank members of Council for their support. This is a clear sign that your local government will not tolerate an influx of illegal tobacco within its city limits."
Belleville area retailers and members of the OCSA look forward to seeing a reduction of contraband products following the recent commitments in the Ontario budget. "As the government looks to follow through on Budget commitments to stop contraband tobacco, support from all levels of government will be critical in helping protect the safety of our communities, and to ensuring that age-restricted products don't wind up in the hands of Ontario's young people," said Bryans.
The OCSA has been engaging municipalities throughout Ontario in its anti-contraband tobacco campaign for over 6 months. To date, over 40 municipalities throughout the province have passed supportive motions.
The OCSA represents more than 7,000 convenience store operators throughout the province who are committed to Responsible Community Retailing. More than 3 million people visit convenience stores in communities across Ontario every day.