We are a coalition of convenience store owners led by the Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association (OKBA), the largest organization of independent convenience stores in Ontario.
Our members are mostly hard-working new Canadians who invested their life savings into their business and who work seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Many came to Canada to build a better life for their families and aim to play by the rules and laws of Canada.
The SOS campaign launched in the fall of 2017, prior to the Ontario provincial election of June 2018. We have been inspired by the focus the new Ford government has placed on small business and many issues we originally raised have been addressed.
However, the issue of illegal, unregulated contraband tobacco remains a serious problem in Ontario. Its presence robs business of legal sales, grants easy access of tobacco to minors, funds organized crime, and robs the provincial government of more than $750M every year. It’s time for the current government to #StopTheLosses
We want to let Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips know that its’ time Ontario taxpayers can no longer afford to lose more than $2M every day to the illegal unregulated tobacco market.
Minister Phillips please follow through with your party’s 2018 commitment to address contraband tobacco in Ontario. Small business owners are counting on you!