FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 17, 2018
“Today, cannabis officially becomes legal in Canada for adults over the age of 19.
The City of Mississauga is ready.
I want to assure our residents first and foremost that their safety and health, in particular, our youth are my top priorities.
At this time, cannabis may only be legally purchased online through the Ontario Cannabis Store which will be operated by the Government of Ontario.
The City of Mississauga is ready to follow the rules put in place by both the federal and provincial governments. We have developed a guide that provides answers to question you may have. Our enforcement division is also preparing to handle any complaints that may arise as they relate to smoking cannabis in public spaces.
The issue of retail stores still needs to be decided by the next Council as one of the first orders of business. Council will meet on December 12 to discuss how we should proceed. The City has until January 22, 2019, to make this decision.
We need to make sure we take the time to get this right.
Before any decisions are made we will be consulting with Council and residents. This includes having conversations and consultations with our residents and community partners include Peel Public Health, Peel Regional Police and our local BIAs.
Before any decision is made we have some concerns with the provincial legislation that require greater clarity on including:
- How will we protect youth from exposure to second-hand given the smoking of cannabis will be permitted anywhere tobacco can be smoked
- Exactly where retail stores can be located (i.e. how far from schools and community centres?)
- As the legislation currently reads, the upper tier municipality, in our case, the Region of Peel, would be the body to provide feedback on behalf of the City of Mississauga. We are concerned that the short 15 day time period for response, combined with a cumbersome two-tier reporting system, will mean the voice of the local community will not be heard properly
- Beyond licensing, we have not yet determined who would be responsible for monitoring and enforcement (the AGCO, Public Health or both?) and;
- While municipalities are grateful for the $40 million in support from the province to support implementation, greater clarity is required as to how municipalities will be made whole and compensated for ongoing expenses
I look forward to speaking with Ontario’s Attorney General, Caroline Mulroney later this month to receive further clarification on our above concerns and to discuss next steps.
I have also instructed City staff to explore placing further restrictions on where cannabis can be smoked in public places for example in City parks and at bus shelters.
Ensuring community safety and public health are at the top of my agenda as Mayor.
As always, my office and 3-1-1 are available should you have any other questions.
I look forward to continuing this conversation with residents and all levels of government in the coming months.”
For Media Inquiries:
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga