Ontario marijuana public sales plan makes sense for Manitoba

“We’ve told the government from the beginning that our own Manitoba Liquor Commission has the know-how and the track record to ensure marijuana sales in our province are carried out safely and responsibly.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

Winnipeg (12 Sept. 2017) — At a news conference on September 8, Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), applauded the Ontario government for their newly announced plan to distribute and sell marijuana in stand-alone stores overseen by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Poll shows Manitobans agree with selling marijuana through government-owned and -managed stores

“Ontario, along with provinces like New Brunswick, who are also leaning toward this route, has obviously done their research,” Gawronsky said. “Study after study tells us that selling marijuana publicly is more effective in protecting public health and safety, not to mention ensuring that profits are invested right back into public services.”

A recent poll showed that Manitobans agree. 2 out of every 3 of us (65 per cent) think marijuana products should be sold through government-owned and managed stores, similar to Liquor Marts.

Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (Canada), the Chief Medical Officers of Canada, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health are all also strong advocates for a publicly owned and operated system.

No reason to re-invent the wheel on marijuana sales

“Right now, our provincial government has some decisions to make,’ Gawronsky said, “and I’m optimistic they’re ready to engage in a sensible and informed debate. I know the Premier has said in the past that when it comes to marijuana sales, he is seriously considering what role the public system must play.”

According to the Ontario finance minister, Charles Sousa, “When it comes to retail distribution, the LCBO has the expertise, the experience, and the insight to ensure careful control of cannabis, helping us to discourage illicit market activity and see that illegal dispensaries are shut down.”

Gawronsky added there’s no reason to re-invent the wheel here in Manitoba either.

“We’ve told the government from the beginning that our own Manitoba Liquor Commission has the know-how and the track record to ensure marijuana sales in our province are carried out safely and responsibly.”


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE


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