“It’s not too late for Ford to abandon his failed privatization policy and switch back to the original plan of putting cannabis sales in the trusted and experienced hands of the LCBO." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (16 Jan. 2019) — The same town where the Ontario government set up its secret cannabis warehouse is banning private retailers, joining 50 other municipalities in just saying no to Premier Doug Ford’s reckless scheme to privatize cannabis sales.
Oakville is latest municipality to reject private pot sellers
“It’s pretty ironic,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). “The Premier put his 78,000 square foot cannabis castle in Oakville, but the town has made it very clear that it doesn’t want private retail cannabis stores. I doubt they want a privately run warehouse in their backyard either."
“It’s not too late for Ford to abandon his failed privatization policy and switch back to the original plan of putting cannabis sales in the trusted and experienced hands of the LCBO," said Thomas.
Oakville town council overwhelmingly voted 14—1 against allowing private cannabis stores to open within its borders, with some councillors expressing major concerns with the government’s plan. Mississauga, Milton, Markham, Pickering and Richmond Hill are among dozens of Ontario communities that are opting out of Ford’s privatized scheme before the January 22 deadline.
“It’s no wonder municipalities across the province are just saying no to private cannabis stores — they're putting communities and children at risk,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU's First Vice-President/Treasurer.
Ontario government should abandon privatization, stick with LCBO
Ford is allowing cannabis shops to operate just 150 metres from schools, breaking a key election promise to keep them at least 400 metres away, Almeida added. The Premier also promised that private retailers would be selected based on their ability to sell cannabis responsibly, then suddenly switched to a lottery system.
“More and more municipalities are rejecting Ford’s privatization scheme,” Almeida said. “The LCBO has a long history of socially responsible sales and pumping millions of dollars a year into government coffers. That means better health care and education, and safer roads and communities.”
“The Premier needs to listen to the people of Ontario, who trust the LCBO over private retailers,” said Thomas.
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