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‘It’s blood money’: Brampton councillor campaigning against pot shops

​‘It’s blood money’: Brampton councillor campaigning against pot shops

 Dec 06, 2018 by Graeme Frisque  Brampton Guardian

Brampton wards 7 and 8 Coun. Charmaine Williams wants nothing to do with private recreational cannabis sales in Brampton.

The newly elected municipal representative recently launched a campaign at www.notinourhoo​d.com aimed at convincing residents and her fellow members of council to opt out of allowing such shops within city limits.

“It’s not about religion, legality or even money. It’s about whether we want to rush into the new frontier without knowing most or all of the impact that it will have on our community,” she said during a committee of council meeting on Dec. 5, where councillors voted to defer the decision to opt in or out to a later date.

The Ontario government has given all municipalities until Jan. 22, 2019 to make their decisions, which will impact provincial funding and revenues moving forward.

Council received a staff report recommending the city opt in at its Dec. 5 meeting. The report provided the results of a telephone poll by Environics which found that 54 per cent of Bramptonians strongly agree with allowing pot shops in Brampton. Forty per cent were strongly against with six per cent undecided.

The poll also found that among users and those who might consume cannabis, 62 per cent preferred to purchase it from a retail store. Twenty-nine per cent said they would prefer to order online from the Ontario Cannabis Store, while nine per cent said they preferred to grow their own. An online poll and survey conducted by the city showed similar result.

Despite those results, Williams said she is certain a majority of her constituents are in favour of opting out.

“I did a poll of 932 people, a phone poll in wards 7 and 8. And the majority of the people in my phone call don’t want it. I also had a community meeting on Oct. 29 and the community in ward 7 and 8 don’t want,” Williams told reporters after council’s decision to defer and seek further public input.