Tory pens letter to Mulroney on cannabis concerns
Published Sunday, October 14, 2018 11:29AM EDT Last Updated Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:43PM EDT
Mayor John Tory has written a letter to Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney to voice his concerns about how the legalization of cannabis will impact the city.
In the letter, Tory said he expects Toronto will be “greatly affected” by the changes, which come into effect on Oct. 17.
“This is a decision taken by the Government of Canada, and while I support cannabis legalization, that support- as Mayor of Toronto- has consistently been contingent on three basic principles being satisfied: that safety of neighbourhoods is maintained; public health is protected; and the City isn’t unfairly burdened with increased enforcement and social costs triggered by this significant change,” Tory said.
“I think we both know that many residents across Toronto share these concerns and want these principles to be respected.”
Tory said he does not believe that Toronto residents will be in favour of the “widespread proliferation of storefront outlets for the sale of cannabis.”
“Not only do I have significant concerns about how the retailing of cannabis will fit into our communities, I am also certain that the social impacts, public health impacts and enforcement of regulations and relevant laws will fall almost entirely on the shoulders of municipalities,” he wrote.
Tory added that the increased costs to the city of Toronto as a result of the legalization will be “disproportionate” to other Ontario cities.
“On that point, I hope there is no dispute,” Tory said. “My strong desire is that we can continue the discussion that began with the previous provincial government on the magnitude of those costs and how the City, to the full extent possible, is kept whole financially.”
To make sure any issues that arise are addressed quickly, Tory said he has asked city officials and police to provide “regular updates” on how the legalization of cannabis is impacting Toronto. He said those reports will be shared with the other levels of government.
“I want to make sure that what we are going to do, from the 17th of October going forward, is to keep very careful tabs on all the data- the calls received, the types of calls, the incidents that may happen of one kind or another- so that we can share that,” Tory told reporters at an event on Sunday.
“I think we are going to have a keep a very close eye on this especially given the number of unanswered questions that there are that I think are going to confront the city.”