Introduction to the Review

Kathleen Lickers
Kathleen is a Seneca from the Six Nations of the Grand River in Southern Ontario and has been practicing law for 20 years. A member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Kathleen is past Treasurer and long standing member of the Indigenous Bar Association. Prior to establishing her own law practice, Kathleen was Commission Counsel to the Indian Specific Claims Commission and was directly responsible for over 60 public inquiries being advanced by First Nations across Canada. In private practice Kathleen continues to focus her attention on issues of shared concern between First Nations and various levels of government, not isolated to outstanding specific claims. She has served as Co-Counsel to the Chiefs of Ontario for the Ipperwash Inquiry; Chair of the Intergovernmental (ON/CAN/COO) Forum; External Advisor to the Assembly of First Nations and the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Since 2011, Kathleen has been working with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs regarding tobacco matters on reserve. 

Peter Griffin
Peter Griffin is a member of the Bar of Ontario practising civil and commercial litigation in Toronto since 1980. Peter has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in the resolution of complex multi-party disputes both before the courts and through mediated and negotiated resolutions. Peter is past President of The Advocates’ Society, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers Ontario Committee.

Review of the First Nations Cigarette Allocation System in Ontario

In 1993, the government of Ontario formally introduced the First Nations Cigarette Allocation System (sometimes referred to as "the cigarette quota") under the Tobacco Tax Act. Prior to this, the government had imposed a cigarette quota system on First Nation reserve retailers in Ontario in an attempt to ensure that tax-exempt cigarettes would not be available to non-Indian consumers, not entitled to tax exemption.

In its 2014 Fall Economic Statement , the government of Ontario committed to launching a formal review of the First Nation allocation system: 

"As part of this review, the government will appoint a facilitator who will work with First Nation communities and other stakeholders across the province, such as industry and public health experts. It will listen to stakeholder perspectives, identify issues with the current system, and make recommendations for improving and modernizing the allocation system."

Ontario retained Kathleen Lickers and Peter Griffin to carry out this review. A brief biography of each Facilitator appears below. 

The objectives of the review are as follows:

1.          To listen to the perspectives and ideas of First Nations leaders, communities, industry, public health experts;

2.          To identify gaps in the current allocation system, including whether to incorporate other tobacco products, such as cigars;

3.          To conduct an assessment of exemption models used in other jurisdictions to identify best practices; and

4.          To identify specific options to the government on improving and modernizing the current allocation system, or alternative approaches.

The Facilitators delivered their report to the government of Ontario on March 1, 2016. Follow this link to the report:   Final Report - March 1 2016.pdf  
The report reflects:
(a)         The background to Ontario’s on-reserve cigarette allocation system;
(b)         The inputs from interested participants;
(c)         The identification by the Facilitators of both key interests and certain economic realities at play;
(d)         A series of options for consideration and discussion amongst Ontario and those key participants; and
(e)         A way forward to begin these important discussions.

The Facilitators carried out this review through research, meetings and the review of any written submissions. They prepared a short discussion paper to provide background information and to offer some topics for discussion with key stakeholders.

Follow this link to the updated Discussion Paper: Discussion Paper Aug 31 2015.pdf