Covering the story of an Akwesasne man who is challenging mandatory penalties for smuggling, Ottawa Citizen reporter Andrew Seymour cites MLI’s work on cross-border tobacco smuggling and Canadian security.
Semour reports that Devin Lazore is facing a fine or imprisonment for bringing 200 kilograms of flavoured tobacco over the U.S. border crossing at Cornwall Island. His lawyer argues that the penalty is too harsh.
Carleton professor Jean Daudelin, who co-authored the MLI report Border Integrity, Illicit Tobacco, and Canada’s Security, is quoted by Seymour as an expert on the effects of smuggling enforcement:
Daudelin … believes that large fines already have very little deterrent effect.
However, there could still be “very broad repercussions” if mandatory fines or a jail term were removed.
“If the government loses the ability to fine, I think it would encourage more smuggling,” said Daudelin.
“It’s quite clear it would reduce the risk. What would be left if you couldn’t even impose a fine?” he asked.
Daudelin’s study found that the majority of the illicit cigarettes in Canada arrive through the Highway 401 corridor around Cornwall.