While Gary McHale and I were putting in some long hours preparing and serving a revised statement of claim against OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino for his false accusations that we were “involved” in violent activities (to be published shortly), CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson wrote a key editorial on an important story broken by Monte Sonnenberg of the Simcoe Reformer exposing how the McGuinty government has ordered municipalities not to enforce the law against illegal smoke shacks:
- Simcoe Reformer, Feb 05/09: Illegal smoke shops off limits REPRINT PDF
- CaledoniaWakeUpCall blog, Jeff Parkinson, Feb 06/09: McGuinty Government endorses selling cigarettes to children
MR. LLOYD ST. AMAND: Is it acceptable that the rate of smokers among aboriginals is three times higher than in the non-native population? That is unacceptably high, clearly. Nobody disagrees with that.
CHIEF CHERYL JACOBS: Nobody disagrees.
(Canadian) Standing Committe on Public Safety and National Security, June 04/08: Evidence (p16)
“On a final note, aboriginal smoking rates are scandalously high. The most important explanatory reason for this is access to cheap cigarettes, including contraband cigarettes. Contraband is addicting aboriginal kids and non-aboriginal kids, and everyone agrees this should not continue.”
(Canadian) Standing Committe on Public Safety and National Security, May 14/08, Evidence (p3): Testimony by Rob Cunningham, Sr. Policy Analyst, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Coalition for Action on Tobacco
One day native groups will be justifiably suing the federal and provincial governments because their communities were scourged by cancer and other smoking related diseases. They will be asking a very valid question: if smoking is bad for non-native kids, why did they allow politically-correct racism to expose native children to smoking?
Oh, I forgot…McGuinty apparently believes it is OK for all kids – native and non-native – to smoke, just so long as they get cancer from contaminated, illegal, tax-free cigarettes sold by natives instead of the regulated stuff produced by greedy, law-abiding tobacco companies who collect and pay taxes.
I agree whole-heartedly with Parkinson’s conclusion: “If ever anyone needed another reason to explain the triggering of their gag reflex by the name ‘McGuinty,’ we now have it.”
But, here’s another…
Tobacco and Terror
Bad as they are, lost revenue and cancer in children are not the ‘only’ prices paid for tolerating illegal tobacco. Readers (and McGuinty, especially!) might find a report by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security of interest (emphasis added):
“Historically, the low-risk, high profitability of the illicit cigarette trade served as a gateway for traditional criminal traffickers to move into lucrative and dangerous criminal enterprises such as money laundering, arms dealing and drug trafficing. Recent law enforcement investigations, however, have directly linked those involved in illicit tobacco trade to infamous terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda.” [p1]
“These startling discoveries led U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Peter T. King (R-NY) to launch an investigation of the issue. The following staff report — which will focus on the estimated millions of dollars in illicit tobacco profits being funneled to terrorist groups overseas as well as New York State’s refusal to enforce tobacco laws — is the result of numerous interviews with law enforcement officials at the local, State, and Federal level, as well as open-source research.” [p1]
“In essence, the New York State Executive Branch’s decision to “look the other way” on sales of untaxed Native American cigarettes to non-Native Americans, the so-called “policy of forbearance,” has created a safe haven for illicit smuggling networks. The continuation of this policy allows criminal and terrorist elements to steal hundreds of millions of dollars a year in untaxed cigarettes alone.” [p8-9]
U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, April 2008: ‘Tobacco and Terror: How Cigarette Smuggling is Funding our Enemies Abroad’ PDF COPY
Just in case you might be thinking that the U.S. report doesn’t mean that similar things are happening in Canada, have a look at some of these items from the RCMP:
- RCMP brochure: The Consequences of SELLING Illegal Tobacco Products:
“The sale of illegal tobacco products benefits criminal organizations. Organized crime networks often benefit from such sales. These organizations use the profits to finance drug trafficking in Canada; purchase illegal weapons; finance criminal groups; and promote violence.”
- RCMP Research & Evaluation Branch, E.J. Dickson, Ph.D., April 2002: Communities, Contraband and Conflict
Many other stories related to smuggling on native reserves can be found at:
- CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com feature: Out of Control Smuggling
Three of CANACE’s founders were assaulted and/or injured on Dec 01/07 at a protest at an illegal smoke shack in Caledonia organized by resident Doug Fleming. Both Gary McHale and Jeff Parkinson were taken to hospital after being injured. Afterwards, we were falsely blamed for the violence used against us. We have seen the ugliness of these disgusting enterprises close up and personal, and how far the government’s police force will go to protect them:
- CANACE incident summary, Dec 13/07: CANACE calls for RCMP to take over investigation after Fantino blames victims of Caledonia violence
- CaledoniaWakeUpCall.com feature: Doug Fleming’s campaign against illegal smoke shops
I thank the Reformer’s Monte Sonnenberg for exposing this shameful order by McGuinty.
It is inconceivable that McGuinty does not know of the links between illegal tobacco, terror, violence, and organized crime. It is unconscionable for him not to know, just as it is unconscionable for him to regard native and non-native children living near illegal smoke shacks as expendable.
Can you imagine the Liberal outcry if Mike Harris had ordered by-law enforcement officers not to enforce the law against illegal smugglers selling cigarettes to children!
Although we can look forward to the next election when we will have an opportunity to sweep this morally bankrupt government into the street where it belongs, can we really and truly expect the Conservatives to act any differently?
Excuse me, I have to run…the disgustingly racist hypocricy of it all is making me queasy.
Mark Vandermaas, Editor
Voice of Canada