Mrs. Lise Bourgault (Argenteuil-Papineau):
Mr. Speaker, ridicule will finally kill society.
Rich tobacco smugglers can buy real estate and other property with complete peace of mind, owing to a defect in the Criminal Code that does not provide for the seizure of goods acquired from the sale of smuggled cigarettes.
The warehouses of flue cured tobacco producers are robbed in broad daylight by criminals who sell the contraband in our famous flea markets. Distributors and retailers lost over $150 million in 1992 because of this illegal trade.
The governments in Quebec and Ottawa lost almost $1 billion in 1992, $450 million for Quebec and $500 million for Ottawa as its share of the tax that would have been collected in Quebec. Imagine the disaster for all of Canada.
Crime has increased 100 per cent and Canadian smokers have become the accomplices of organized crime, something which has not been seen since Prohibition. This has been going on since July 1991 and it is time to stop it.
Quebec and Ottawa must drastically cut taxes in order to kill the black market. The Criminal Code must be amended to prevent these criminals from laundering money obtained from smuggling, the exits from the Indian reserves must be controlled and above all, Quebecers and Canadians must stop buying contraband cigarettes; otherwise, the governments alone will be unable to wipe out this evil.
Subtopic: TOBACCO SMUGGLING