CFN – Cornwall City Councilor went stumping for some local businesses that are upset that the temporary customs set up here in Cornwall are causing long delays that are impacting local business.
He’s right. They are. Mostly they are inconveniencing the residents of Akwesasne and their businesses as well. After all where the tolls are now located Cornwallites have to pay two tolls ($6.50 in total) to access businesses in Akwesasne which of course are still in Canada ( depending on whom you ask), as well as events at the Turtle Dome such as Hockey, Lacrosse, and even the International Pow Wow each year.
What has impacted this city of 46,000 has been the relocation of customs and the heavy toll on the illegal cigarette trade that prospered so long here.
It’s not the smugglers so much or even the mom and pops that were selling bags here in Cornwall, usually tripling their small investments; but the average smoker who now has to pay as much for a single package of smokes as a whole bag sometimes cost. That means much less disposable income for these poor addicts, and most of the cigarette money leaving the local economy where it used to be cycled through the local economy.
Of course there are legal and moral issues; not to mention that fact that cigarettes kill people dead and should be a controlled substance, if even; but purely from an economic standpoint the Harper Government has spent billions fighting ghosts. The illegal cigarette trade has not dimmed; it’s simply moved downstream. It’s evolved at government expense.
In the interim we’ve had this dysfunctional set up that won’t be changing until the new low level bridge has completed. Most people that look at the situation realize that customs should go right back where it was, and yes, with custom guards armed if that’s the nationwide policy.
Will that happen? Only Mr. Harper can answer that question at this point. Where do you think it should go dear viewers of CFN? You can vote in our poll and post your comments below.