The board consulted the possibility of filing the lawsuit against tobacco manufacturers for their alleged role in smuggling tobacco.
On July 31, 2008 Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. and Rothmans Benson & Hedges each pleaded guilty to a single count of violating the federal Excise Act by “aiding persons to sell or be in possession of tobacco products manufactured in Canada that were not packaged and were not stamped in conformity with the Excise Act and its amendments and the Ministerial regulations.”
The cash settlement out of the guilty pleas was the basis for the federal Tobacco Transition Program. As the result the board wants a leading class-action legal firm to analyze if there was anything that should be acted on.
The tobacco growers received very less money than what they should. This enabled the manufacturers to purchase the tobacco at export prices in Ontario which they exported and then brought the finished products back to Canada.
The difference between the export and domestic tobacco is between 50 cents and $1 per pound, dependent on each individual year’s crop deal.
About 2,000 growers who produced a tobacco crop between 1985 and 1996 attended a meeting Monday night in Delhi to hear a presentation by Harvey Strosberg of Sutts, Strosberg on the potential class action lawsuit.
Since the lawsuit would be a class action suit, there would be no charge for farmers to participate. If the suit is successful, Sutts, Strosberg would be paid. In the case the suit isn’t successful, the company won’t be paid anything.