Fines in Durham Region for Untaxed Tobacco
On Aug. 22, seven people were found guilty, under the Tobacco Tax Act, of purchasing cigarettes with no provincial taxes paid:
- Lena and Norbert Camirand of Ajax were each sentenced to a fine of $150 for possession of six cartons of unmarked cigarettes.
- Karen Howie of Oshawa and Stacey Steiner of Whitby were each sentenced to a fine of $200 for possession of eight cartons of unmarked cigarettes.
- Jeffrey Clydesdale of Lindsay was sentenced to a fine of $150 for possession of two cartons of unmarked cigarettes.
- Kelly Wilde of Oshawa was sentenced to a fine of $500 for possession of eight cartons of unmarked cigarettes.
- Louis Colangelo of Whitby was sentenced to a fine of $200 for possession of five cartons of unmarked cigarettes.
Purchased from a Port Perry retailer, the cigarettes were only marked with a peach coloured stamp indicating no provincial taxes had been paid.
Cigarettes sold in packages that do not have Ontario's yellow tear tape are illegal cigarettes, subject to certain limited exceptions. Also, cigarettes sold in clear, plastic bags are illegal.
In addition to the fines the individuals must also pay surcharges to the Ontario Victims' Justice Fund. Persons charged under the Tobacco Tax Act are generally subject to conviction and fines or jail pursuant to the Act. Individuals should also be aware that in addition to a fine they may be required to pay significant civil penalties.
- On June 1, 2011, the Supporting Smoke-Free Ontario by Reducing Contraband Tobacco Act, 2011 became law. The legislation contains new ways to address illegal tobacco.
- Over the last nine years, Ontario has strengthened enforcement against illegal tobacco products.
- From April 1, 2008 to June 30, 2012, more than 197 million illegal cigarettes, 2.1 million untaxed cigars and more than 59 million grams of untaxed fine-cut or other tobacco products have been seized by ministry investigators and inspectors. One gram of tobacco roughly equates to one cigarette.
- Since March 2006 penalties assessed against retailers violating the Tobacco Tax Act total more than $22.8 million.