Ontario To Clamp Down On Contraband Tobacco
The underground economy is about to face the scrutiny of Ontario’s Finance Minister as Charles Sousa will be releasing the province’s fall economic statement today, which the Toronto Star is reports will clamp down on tax cheats; targeting those who buy contraband tobacco.
Roughly 40% of cigarettes smoked in the province are untaxed, because they`re manufactured on First Nations Reserves, then illegally distributed throughout the province.
Sousa also wants to put an end to “cash-only” transactions that are often used to dodge taxes.
He’ll be making the announcement in the Legislature at 1:15 this afternoon then meet with reporters afterwards.
You Can Still Buy Cigarettes In Ontario| You Just Can't Smoke Them Anywhere Come January 1st 2015
I quit smoking two months ago. Why you ask? Because I’m concerned about my health? No: because they cost too much damn money now! Okay, I got a little push from this pretty lady I’ve been seeing too, she doesn’t like it. Why do women always want to change the bad boy, and then when they do, they don’t want to be with the good boy anymore? (Nevermind, that’s another article for another day…)
I remember smoking my first cigarette like it was yesterday. I was 17 years old (late to join the party) when I gave-in to my curiosity.
I always thought smoking was cool growing up; I guess I watched too many movies. Seeing James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause sitting with Natalie Wood on the grass, talking life and love while effortlessly smoking a cigarette: yeah, I was sold. That cigarette was a part of him, it was an extension of him, it personified the “rebel” in him. He was a bad ass in my eyes, everything that I thought was cool. (and many others I should add.)
I guess you could say that the crowd I hung around with while attending high school weren’t exactly model citizens, but I have good parents who taught me well; right from wrong, and I knew smoking and drugs were bad for you. I was constantly pressured throughout my teenage years to try smoking: “What are you man, a pussy? Just have a smoke dude!” Never though did I say yes and try one.
“What are you man, a pussy? Just have a smoke dude!” Never though did I say yes and try one.
Then one afternoon I was sitting alone in my car after finishing another boring day of school, contemplating what any 17 year old boy would have on his mind: a pretty girl he has a thing for. It was at that moment right then when I said to myself, “let’s go buy a pack of smokes.” (Jimmy Dean kicked in.) So there I sat: windows down with the mid June’s setting sun against my face and lit my first cigarette.
It felt liberating in a way. I know that sounds ridiculous to say about smoking but it was something I had always wanted to try and was scared out of by my parents and teachers etc. I like to think of my life as a movie and I’m the director and main character of it; what would the actor say to the pretty girl in this scene, how would he stand in front of her, how would he look at her.
What? We’re all a little bizarre in our own ways; it’s those quirks that make each person unique, an individual. Plus, life can be boring as hell; it’s more fun to have your head up in the clouds sometimes.
Point is: I made the choice to do it on my own terms, because it was what I wanted – not because I wanted to fit in with a group of friends.
Now skip to 2014:
"the government has no problem with continuing to raise prices and taxing the sh*t out of you when it comes to smoking"
As a smoker, I find it quite ironic that the government has no problem with continuing to raise prices and taxing the sh*t out of me when it comes to my nasty habit of buying cigarettes, yet I’m not allowed to indulge in my addiction anywhere other than my home or personal vehicle; thank god I don’t have children yet!
Now yes, I know “cancer sticks” are bad for you and that I should quit, and I respect those who do not smoke. I agree that you shouldn’t have to suffer the same damage to your lungs that I choose to inflict on mine. I never smoke in my car with someone who is a non-smoker, nor do I smoke inside my home and I always give more than 9 meters when I’m outside “hacking a dart” at work.
But please Kathleen Wynne and your Liberal government, don’t try and tell me with all your legislation that you actually are concerned about my health and are trying to entice me to quit my bad habit – you like my money more.
Smoking is an addiction and the government very well knows that you can’t just cure an addiction by making the vice “less accessible.” People will go to surprising lengths to get their “fix”, whatever it is.
But yet again, Ontario is expanding the smoking ban!
Starting January 1st 2015, smoking is prohibited on all restaurant and bar patios, children’s playgrounds and publicly owned sports fields or be faced with a fine of $250. Health Minister Dipika Damerla calls the new legislation “patchwork” of municipal regulations across the province.
You won’t be able to sell tobacco on college and university campuses anymore, either!
President & CEO of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel & Motel Association says this will negatively affect many businesses:
“This industry needs some support. This industry has been struggling now for many years. The last recession was not very kind to this industry.”
“This should have been kept only in public spaces, which we believe in, but not into the restaurant patios.”
Of course, government officials are rejecting claims that this move will hurt restaurants, and the banning of sales at post-secondary institutions will only increase sales in illegal tobacco.
Well you politicians better start accepting it; like I said, people will go to surprising lengths to get their “fix”, whatever it is.
Why would a smoker go to a bar for a drink on a Friday night with some friends if he/she is not allowed to smoke? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just hit the LCBO and have a little backyard get-together instead, allowing you and your other smoker friends to “chase the dragon” all night long?
Why can’t bars have the option to be smoking or non-smoking and give people a choice. If you don’t want to be anywhere around cigarette smoke, then you have the option to go to such a facility and smokers can have their designated bars; everyone is happy.
I would love to see a study be done: non-smoking bars vs smoking bars — honestly, which one do you think would be busier? Which one do you think would generate more revenue? (but that’s beside the point.)
The way I see it, the government has been ostracizing smokers and therefor, over time, the public’s perception of smoking has become very different from the way I once saw it as “cool,” — not to mention all the medical evidence and that healthy living ideology stuff. Truth is, smoking isn’t cool; at least not anymore in 2014 and I strongly recommend not trying it kids, you’ll only regret it later.
But what will the government do when all of the smokers quit because of the Liberal’s “methods of deterioration” or die off? Where are they going to find all that extra revenue to spend on future cancelled gas plants?
Be sure they’ll find new ways of taxing, that effect all of us.
Should the government go after the First Nations reserves that make contraband smokes, or the consumers who buy them?
Whether you’re a smoker or a non-smoker, do you think this latest attack against smokers is a fair one? Will it help current puffers quit, and stop others from starting by banishing it from more public areas?
Does it matter that it will negatively affect businesses? Is there a better provision they could enact that would benefit both smokers and non-smokers?