Canada - Docs Want to Know More Tobacco Smuggling Settlement..

Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada said Tuesday, October 7, 2008 the organization will lobby members of the Public Accounts Committee to hold hearings on the negotiations that led to a final $1.2-billion smuggling settlement between Canadian government and the country's two largest tobacco companies, Imperial Tobacco and Rothmans Inc.

The physicians last month asked auditor general Sheila Fraser for an investigation of the agreement, which was signed July 31, 2008 but she turned them down. Fraser said in a letter to the group that the government's decision to agree to the settlement was a policy decision. "Under the legislation that governs our work, we do not evaluate the merits of government policies," Fraser said.

Cynthia Callard, executive director of Smoke-Free Canada, said that the "wall of secrecy" that surrounds the agreement must be penetrated.

Reference: Lift cloud of smoke from tobacco smuggling deal: Doctors
Group says government let cigarette companies off the hook
, Canwest News Service, 10/07/2008.