February 26, 2010

Canada's Great Tobacco Buyout Scam

Hank Daniszewski of Sun Media reported, on March 21, 2009, that tobacco growers have found a way to cheat the Canadian people out of their money. What???

Through several years, Ontario tobacco growers engaged in civil disobedience through lighting fires on the doorstep of politicians to conducting disruptive protests on Canadian streets. They convinced weak-minded politicians who routinely buy votes with public dollars that it was in the politicians' best interests to throw public dollars into the waste can of incompetent and failing business people - the tobacco growers of Ontario. Ultimately, these elected officials (led in this quest for misappropriation of public moneys by Lloyd St. Amand, then MP for the riding of Brant) agreed that millions of hard earned Canadian dollars should be given away in a tobacco quota "buyout".

Well, what really happened with these growers?

Liberal MP (Member of Parliament) for Malpeque, PE (Prince Edward Island) Wayne Easter said, "The person who in turn cashes in the quota must pledge not to grow tobacco but could have an informal deal to share the money with the original producer who is free to go on producing the crop under a new licensing system."

He goes on to say, "This defeats the intent of the program to exit people out of the industry. This is taxpayers' money." (Ummm, Mr. Easter, it was the Liberals who first succumbed to this bullying for public dollars - although the Conservative party was right in line on this horrific fiasco.)

After close to $300,000,000 (yes, that's 300 million dollars!!!), about nine dollars per man, woman and child; working and not working, it's time to recognize a scandal behind incompetent thinking.

So, many quotas were quietly shifted to other producers while they collected public dollars for these quotas. Some would call it "double-dipping". Personally, I call it "outright theft of public moneys" ... "fraud" on the part of unscrupulous tobacco growers. Is that all? Absolutely not! Can you guess what happened to all the equipment for which tobacco growers "claimed" they need to be reimbursed? Much of it was sold for 10 cents on the dollar (or less) to family who went on to produce tobacco on different (unregistered) fields not originally part of the quota system - fields which were not "bought out" by the Canadian people.

Thieves - stealing, with the help of our elected officials, from the public purse.

I used to think they were just bad business people who, when hit in the face with the obvious need to get out of the business and find something else to grow, just weren't smart enough to see it. Boy, was I wrong. These are brilliant fraud artists who found a way to misappropriate millions of public dollars.

I love the saying, "Farmers feed cities." Without them we would be importing all our food from China (oh, wait ... we're already getting there). Tobacco "farmers" are business people whose factory floor is soil. They are not "Farmers feeding cities". They are manufacturers feeding poisons to millions of addicts while stealing money from the public purse.

Way to go, Canada. What a boner! Buyouts, indeed!

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