Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act (Bill S-16)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, in reference to what the hon. member for St. Boniface just said, one of the first cuts under the current administration was the elimination of the program on first nations reserves to deal with tobacco addictions. That was very poorly received by a lot of chiefs, who spoke to me about it.

We also know that the Ontario government has taken the approach of consulting with the community at Kanesatake and Kahnawake to set up a co-operative program.

It strikes me, from the remarks of my hon. colleague, that the federal approach of imposing the bill, as much as we would all like to see the end of illegal activity in contraband tobacco, may not have the desired effect if there has been no effort at co-operation first. I would like his comments on that.

Hoang Mai: Mr. Speaker, that is why we want to look at it at committee, to see what has been done and the solutions that have been proposed. We all know we need to tackle the issue of contraband, but we want to know whether Bill S-16 is the right tool to tackle the issue.

There are a lot of questions in terms of what consultation there was before coming up with the bill. We want to also hear from experts. We want to hear from people who are in the business and are dealing with this problem on whether this bill is what they need. That is why we want to study it at committee.