“Grocery corporations got caught red-handed fixing the price of bread. Construction corporations got caught red-handed overcharging us $8 billion for P3 hospitals and highways. Why should we ever trust cannabis corporations to keep our kids and communities safe?” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer
Toronto (15 Oct. 2018) — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is calling for the resignation of Attorney General Caroline Mulroney after she claimed her government isn’t capable of fighting organized cannabis crime.
Ontario Conservatives abandon public safety by giving cannabis sales to private sector friends
“The Conservatives used to be the party of law and order. But now it’s just duck and cover when it comes to facing the thugs and criminals of the cannabis underworld,” said Thomas. “The people of Ontario are worried about what’s going to happen to their kids and grandkids when cannabis becomes legal next week, and the government is just throwing up its hands and contracting out the problem to its friends in the private sector."
“If the Attorney General can’t enforce the law of the land, she has to go," continued Thomas.
Thomas was responding to comments Mulroney made during a speech last week in which she said her government decided to privatize cannabis sales because they believe the public sector is “incapable of seriously competing with the illegal [cannabis] market.”
“Along with being incredibly disrespectful to public sector workers, Mulroney’s comments are cowardly, negligent, and deeply concerning,” said Thomas. “What’s next?”
Research shows that most support publicly-run stores over private
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer, said the people of Ontario haven’t forgotten the betrayals we’ve suffered recently at the hands of private corporations.
“Grocery corporations got caught red-handed fixing the price of bread. Construction corporations got caught red-handed overcharging us $8 billion for P3 hospitals and highways,” said Almeida. “Why should we ever trust cannabis corporations to keep our kids and communities safe?”
Thomas said the government should pay attention to fresh public opinion research showing that the people of Ontario are 11 times more likely to choose the LCBO over private stores to keep cannabis out of the hands of kids.
“People trust the public model because it’s tried, tested and true,” said Thomas. “Public models and institutions have won the battle against bookies and bootleggers, and public cannabis stores, if supported properly, will win over organized crime.”
“The people of Ontario deserve a responsible plan for the sale of cannabis,” said Thomas. “And the responsible plan is a public plan.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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