Ontario Signs Agreement-in-Principle with Chippewas of the Thames First Nation on Tobacco
Province Partnering with First Nations to Support Community Growth and Prosperity
Ontario has signed an agreement-in-principle with Chippewas of the Thames First Nation regarding tobacco regulation and revenue sharing, in order to help support community growth and prosperity and advance self-regulation.
Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Chief Leslee White-Eye of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation signed the agreement today in Toronto.
The Ontario government has been engaged in a dialogue with First Nation communities across the province about sharing a portion of provincial tobacco tax revenues with communities that agree to regulate tobacco sales on-reserve.
As one of the participating First Nations, Chippewas of the Thames has begun the internal consultation and legal work to examine how a self-regulatory system might balance public health priorities while growing its economy. The purpose of the Agreement-in-Principle is to guide the negotiations between Ontario and Chippewas toward reaching a final agreement.
Advancing collaborative agreements like this is one of many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.
- The Ontario government and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation have worked together since 2012 to explore self-regulation of tobacco on-reserve and revenue sharing as part of a tobacco pilot project.
- The 2017 Ontario Budget announced the province’s intention to collaborate with First Nations on amendments to the Tobacco Tax Act and other pieces of legislation to support effective coordination and integration of provincial legislation with First Nation tobacco laws in the future.
- The Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples outlines the province's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
“Working together toward community-based regulation of tobacco ensures mutually beneficial outcomes for First Nations and the province. The Agreement-in-Principle with Chippewas of the Thames First Nation is an important step in building trust and collaboration – which improves business certainty for on-reserve sales and supports economic development of First Nation communities.”
“Ontario is committed to working on a government-to-government basis with First Nations to find a mutually beneficial and sustainable solution to tobacco regulation and revenue-sharing and today’s announcement with Chippewas of the Thames First Nation marks a monumental first step in that direction.”
“The Chippewas of the Thames tobacco economy has long been established in our territory. This tobacco pilot creates an opportunity for Chippewas of the Thames First Nation to find common ground with the province of Ontario for our laws to coexist.”