Pot store not wanted in Dutton Dunwich
Council unanimous in opposition to provincial marijuana plan
It wanted no part of a wind farm imposed on it by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government against its will.
Now, a Southwestern Ontario municipality wants the Liberal premier to keep her pot out of its booze store.
Members of the municipal council in Dutton Dunwich, southwest of London, were emphatic at their latest meeting they don’t want legal marijuana — which the government plans to sell through its Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) monopoly — in their liquor and beer outlet in Dutton.
Coun. Dan McKillop raised the issue “to show that we don’t want it readily available to the young people in our community,” he said, adding: “I’m totally against it.”
Mayor Cameron McWilliam, his deputy and councillors Ian Fleck and Mike Hentz are against the sale of marijuana in the community’s liquor outlet as well.
“I don’t want to see it in this municipality at all,” Fleck said.
“I’m opposed to the whole idea of legalized marijuana and everything that goes with it, so I don’t want to see it here in town,” Hentz said.
Wynne’s Liberals became the first provincial government to roll out plans for marijuana sales next year, after the federal Liberals legalize recreational use of the drug, saying pot will be sold in stand-alone LCBO outlets and its sale limited to buyers 19 and older, the same as for booze and smokes. But McWilliam questioned how much research has gone into the provincial plan.
“The concern I also have with the announcement from the province is that it’s just too vague,” he said, adding the set-up costs to regulate the sale of legal pot — many municipalities fear they’ll be stuck with policing and zoning enforcement costs, without a cut of the financial action — remain unclear.
I’m opposed to the whole idea of legalized marijuana and everything that goes with it.” Mike Hentz
“I just question if there is any benefit — if it’s going to cost more than we get on taxes — what’s the point?” McWilliam said.
Council deferred crafting a zoning bylaw to block legal marijuana sales until its next meeting Sept. 27.
It’s not the first time DuttonDunwich has crossed swords with the Liberals over provincial policies the rural municipality dislikes.
A hotly contested wind farm was imposed on the township, despite a council resolution opposition wind turbine development on local turf after a municipal survey of residents came back showing overwhelming opposition to the highrise-size electricity generators.