I guess no one's really gonna worry... about natives flogging contraband cigarettes.
-- Deseronto -- Just outside a gravel quarry here that has become something of a symbol for native land claim unrest sits a spray-painted plywood sign offering bagged cigarettes for sale - cheap.Now you might think the law of the land should be brought to bear here... but apparently there is a law-enforcement Bermuda Triangle... which lets aboriginals do whatever they want, in proximity to Mohawk Territory.
For about the past month, buyers have been able to approach the entrance to the Thurlow Aggregates quarry on Deseronto Road in Tyendinaga Township - which has been occupied by native protesters since March - and walk away with a bag of native-produced smokes for $10.
While the selling of the contraband cigarettes at a site outside a native reserve doesn't sit well with either health officials or police, neither appear eager to tackle the politically-charged problem.Well... at least they're not poisoning MY children.
According to Carol Snell, spokeswoman for the Hastings-Prince Edward Counties Health Unit, the agency's tobacco enforcement team is leaving the issue up to law enforcement agencies to handle - for now.
"We're not dealing with it," she said. "It's a federal issue and up to the RCMP to deal with it at this point."
According to RCMP Cpl. Nancy Mason, the federal policing agency is focusing enforcement on picking off shipments of contraband smokes being transported on Highway 401 between Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and the U.S. side of the Akwesasne reserve near Cornwall, Ont.
"Cheap native-made cigarettes can contain dirt, metal filings and other unsavoury ingredients mixed in with the chemical stew of 4,200 chemicals found in all smokes, according to an analysis done by the federal Ministry of Revenue."Way to strike a blow for freedom, guys!