Barrett wants action on black market trade

December 8, 2015

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett will introduce legislation to strike a commission to investigate Ontario’s illegal trafficking of tobacco, drugs, money people and weapons.

Barrett Private Member’s Bill The Ontario Commission of Inquiry into the Black Market Trade and Trafficking of People, Drugs, Money, Tobacco and Weapons Act, 2016 will compel the government to form a commission to look into contraband trade, examine existing laws and report with its conclusions and recommendations.

It will also:
• Examine trafficking within the context of modern life. The Commission will rely not only on the information and opinions of scientists and experts, but also on the candid opinions, attitudes and experiences of individuals in many parts of Ontario and beyond.

• Conduct public and private hearings as a forum for frank and informal exchange of opinion; receive public and private correspondence; formal briefs and other submissions; and maintain regular contact with certain key persons who are involved in addressing problems related to the sources and patterns of such trafficking at both the

• Conduct an extensive review of the international literature, including both published and unpublished papers, on such trafficking, as well as an examination and assessment of existing laws, law enforcement and intelligence methods in Ontario and beyond, including a detailed empirical investigation of these aspects of social policy.

“The province’s Ministry of Health Promotion estimates sales of contraband cigarettes comprise 30 per cent of the market. This is harming the province’s finances, the economy and health of its citizens,” Barrett said. “I would venture it safe to say in some areas, such as near the border and in Haldimand-Norfolk, the contraband rate is even higher. Dealers are selling out of the trunks of cars and are dealing far more than illegal smokes.

“Yet, despite pledges to tackle illegal tobacco, the government has done nothing to quell this trade. It’s my hope this commission will result in action.”

Barrett will introduce the legislation in February.


For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or