Brampton council opts-in on cannabis retail stores

News Jan 21, 2019 by Graeme Frisque Brampton Guardian

After months of public consultations and debate, Brampton council voted to opt-in to allowing private recreational cannabis retail stores within city limits at a special council meeting Monday.

Brampton was among the last GTA municipalities to its decision ahead of the provincial government’s Jan. 22 deadline.

The meeting was as contentious an affair as the debate leading up to it, with several passionate resident delegations addressing council on both sides. While a number of resident surveys by the town showed a majority in favour of opting in, it is not by much.

A phone poll by Environics commissioned by the city in November found 54 per cent of Bramptonians in favour of opting in. Forty per cent were against, while 6 per cent remained undecided.

Staff recommended the city opt in December, but at the time, council decided instead to host further public consultations and defer the vote until Monday Jan. 21. Those consultations didn’t change staff’s recommendation.

New wards 7 and 8 Coun. Charmaine Williams has been the most vocal opponent of retail pot shops in the city. She has made headlines with her “Not in our Hood” campaign, going so far as to take a page from U.S. President Donald Trump’s playbook, calling for a figurative “wall” around the GTA to stop the “pot shop invasion.”

Wards 9 and 10 Coun. Gurpreet Dhillon advocated opting out in hopes of holding out for a better deal from the province.

“I feel the province should have given us more control over where we sell these products,” he said, adding he believes the city should have joined several others in the GTA in standing up to the Doug Ford PC government.

Some of the concern at council stemmed from the federal and provincial governments not fully funding expected policing and health-care costs. But Mayor Patrick Brown, who was critical in this regard, said if the city opts out it will receive very little funding to offset those costs at all.

Opting in means the city will receive additional funding, including a cut of cannabis tax revenue it would not been entitled to had it opted out like neighbouring Mississauga. That city will only receive the initial portion of the blanket $15 million allocated by the provincial government that all municipalities have already received.

“I want to praise the Brampton city council for taking the time to do their due diligence,” Brown told reporters ahead of the meeting. "But when I look at the overall picture, 15 per cent of policing costs is still something. Fifteen per cent of policing costs is better than nothing. Right now, if we opt-in there is a potential for additional funding. If we opt out, we get $2,500."

Ultimately, council agreed with city staff’s recommendation and voted 8-3 in favour of opting in, with councillors Williams, Dhillon and Harkirat Singh opposing the motion.

A separate motion to continue to advocate the city's interests to the province and federal government passed unanimously.

Brampton council opts-in on cannabis retail stores

News Jan 21, 2019 by Graeme Frisque Brampton Guardian

After months of public consultations and debate, Brampton council voted to opt-in to allowing private recreational cannabis retail stores within city limits at a special council meeting Monday.

Brampton was among the last GTA municipalities to its decision ahead of the provincial government’s Jan. 22 deadline.

The meeting was as contentious an affair as the debate leading up to it, with several passionate resident delegations addressing council on both sides. While a number of resident surveys by the town showed a majority in favour of opting in, it is not by much.

A phone poll by Environics commissioned by the city in November found 54 per cent of Bramptonians in favour of opting in. Forty per cent were against, while 6 per cent remained undecided.

Related Content

Staff recommended the city opt in December, but at the time, council decided instead to host further public consultations and defer the vote until Monday Jan. 21. Those consultations didn’t change staff’s recommendation.

New wards 7 and 8 Coun. Charmaine Williams has been the most vocal opponent of retail pot shops in the city. She has made headlines with her “Not in our Hood” campaign, going so far as to take a page from U.S. President Donald Trump’s playbook, calling for a figurative “wall” around the GTA to stop the “pot shop invasion.”

Wards 9 and 10 Coun. Gurpreet Dhillon advocated opting out in hopes of holding out for a better deal from the province.

“I feel the province should have given us more control over where we sell these products,” he said, adding he believes the city should have joined several others in the GTA in standing up to the Doug Ford PC government.

Some of the concern at council stemmed from the federal and provincial governments not fully funding expected policing and health-care costs. But Mayor Patrick Brown, who was critical in this regard, said if the city opts out it will receive very little funding to offset those costs at all.

Opting in means the city will receive additional funding, including a cut of cannabis tax revenue it would not been entitled to had it opted out like neighbouring Mississauga. That city will only receive the initial portion of the blanket $15 million allocated by the provincial government that all municipalities have already received.

“I want to praise the Brampton city council for taking the time to do their due diligence,” Brown told reporters ahead of the meeting. "But when I look at the overall picture, 15 per cent of policing costs is still something. Fifteen per cent of policing costs is better than nothing. Right now, if we opt-in there is a potential for additional funding. If we opt out, we get $2,500."

Ultimately, council agreed with city staff’s recommendation and voted 8-3 in favour of opting in, with councillors Williams, Dhillon and Harkirat Singh opposing the motion.

A separate motion to continue to advocate the city's interests to the province and federal government passed unanimously.

Brampton council opts-in on cannabis retail stores

News Jan 21, 2019 by Graeme Frisque Brampton Guardian

After months of public consultations and debate, Brampton council voted to opt-in to allowing private recreational cannabis retail stores within city limits at a special council meeting Monday.

Brampton was among the last GTA municipalities to its decision ahead of the provincial government’s Jan. 22 deadline.

The meeting was as contentious an affair as the debate leading up to it, with several passionate resident delegations addressing council on both sides. While a number of resident surveys by the town showed a majority in favour of opting in, it is not by much.

A phone poll by Environics commissioned by the city in November found 54 per cent of Bramptonians in favour of opting in. Forty per cent were against, while 6 per cent remained undecided.

Related Content

Staff recommended the city opt in December, but at the time, council decided instead to host further public consultations and defer the vote until Monday Jan. 21. Those consultations didn’t change staff’s recommendation.

New wards 7 and 8 Coun. Charmaine Williams has been the most vocal opponent of retail pot shops in the city. She has made headlines with her “Not in our Hood” campaign, going so far as to take a page from U.S. President Donald Trump’s playbook, calling for a figurative “wall” around the GTA to stop the “pot shop invasion.”

Wards 9 and 10 Coun. Gurpreet Dhillon advocated opting out in hopes of holding out for a better deal from the province.

“I feel the province should have given us more control over where we sell these products,” he said, adding he believes the city should have joined several others in the GTA in standing up to the Doug Ford PC government.

Some of the concern at council stemmed from the federal and provincial governments not fully funding expected policing and health-care costs. But Mayor Patrick Brown, who was critical in this regard, said if the city opts out it will receive very little funding to offset those costs at all.

Opting in means the city will receive additional funding, including a cut of cannabis tax revenue it would not been entitled to had it opted out like neighbouring Mississauga. That city will only receive the initial portion of the blanket $15 million allocated by the provincial government that all municipalities have already received.

“I want to praise the Brampton city council for taking the time to do their due diligence,” Brown told reporters ahead of the meeting. "But when I look at the overall picture, 15 per cent of policing costs is still something. Fifteen per cent of policing costs is better than nothing. Right now, if we opt-in there is a potential for additional funding. If we opt out, we get $2,500."

Ultimately, council agreed with city staff’s recommendation and voted 8-3 in favour of opting in, with councillors Williams, Dhillon and Harkirat Singh opposing the motion.

A separate motion to continue to advocate the city's interests to the province and federal government passed unanimously.