HST concerns shop owners, MPP
By Kim Zarzour - YorkRegion.com
May 19, 2010
The HST will add 8 per cent to the cost of tobacco products starting July 1 and drive more smokers to buy cheaply priced illegal cigarettes, said Dave Bryans, President of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association. Nearly half of all tobacco sales in Ontario is controlled by organized crime groups, he added.
The association, and Thornhill MPP Peter Shurman, are calling on the province to hold the line on cigarette taxes until the contraband tobacco problem is under control.
?Minister, put HST on legal cigarettes and you are putting money in the pockets of organized crime,? Mr. Shurman, PC Critic for Economic Development and Trade, said during Question Period Tuesday. ?It kills small business and buys the guns that kill innocent people.?