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Tuesday May 15th, 2012  
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"Kathy was a big part of the golf tournament. She impacted a lot of people."
- Joan Koinberg  
Alberta Health Services   


How to keep yourself fail safe in a ‘knock-off ’ environment
Lindsay Goss photo
Cst. Martin Bouchard was the gust speaker at Wednesday's Chamber of Commerce meeting as he spoke on counterfeit issues at the Lion’s Pride Hall in Blairmore.
The Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce held their monthly luncheon at noon on Wednesday, May 9th at the Lion’s Pride Hall, where guest speaker Cst. Martin Bouchard from the Calgary Federal Enforcement section of the RCMP came to speak about counterfeit issues in Canada.
The event was catered by Ben Wong’s restaurant in Blairmore, and hosted around 30 locals.
Bouchard kicked off his presentation by asking the audience what they knew about counterfeit products in Canada. The response of the audience varied, some saying yes, some saying no, and some saying maybe.
Bouchard continued by saying that many Canadians, specifically business owners are unaware of when a cheap knockoff they are selling turns into an illegal product.
In the world today, counterfeits are a growing problem, and more things are becoming the product of counterfeit in Canada. Household items, food, alcohol, toys, perfume, electronics and medicine are all becoming common illegal products being sold in Canada under counterfeit names.
An item is considered illegal if it is a direct misrepresentation of a real product or company. Usually these misrepresentations are cheaper, lower quality, and dangerous to the wellbeing of the owner of the product.
Bouchard explained that in Canada, it is common for stores to sell cheap products that are replicas of original products, putting the logos of designer companies on cut-rate products that are not made by that company.
This is an illegal act in Canada, both selling and purchasing the knock-off products.

This crime is a growing issue here as buying and selling counterfeit products harms the Canadian economy, and well as jeopardizing jobs and the company sustainability.
It is becoming common in Canada for individuals to purchase mass amounts of counterfeit products and sell them online, using websites like Kijiji or Facebook, explained Bouchard.
If a store in Canada is caught selling misrepresented products, they are required to attend an information session regarding counterfeit in Canada. However, if the store is caught a second time selling the products, police will then report the crime to the companies stolen from and a lawsuit is usueally followed. These lawsuits can be devastating to the store found guilty.
“Before I started on the force, I knew a little bit about counterfeit,” said Bouchard. “I didn’t know that it was illegal. I thought it was okay to purchase a cheaper product of a brand name.”
Aside from the fact that a counterfeit item is an act of theft, the safety of the buyer is also at risk when a cheap, low quality item is sold.
Electrical items that are poorly engineered can become a serious fire hazard, and medication bought without a prescription can be poisonous and unhealthy.
Illegal distribution of music and movies, as well as modifying a satellite receiver to pick up signals encoded by satellite distributors is also a growing problem in Canada.
Bouchard said that knowledge is the first step of prevention. The more people who know about counterfeit, the easier to will be to prevent it.
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   Volume 82 - Issue 19   email:   $1.00   
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