News - Press Release
Press Release

OPSEU: With his “half-baked” privatized cannabis scheme, Ford is playing us for a bunch of April fools

Publication Date

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 2:15pm

TORONTO – Drug dealers and Ford Nation insiders are the only ones reaping the rewards as the premier’s privatized cannabis scheme fails again to deliver on its overblown promises, says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

“Today is the day Ford promised we’d finally have at least 25 cannabis stores open in across the province,” said Thomas. “But like so many of his other half-baked schemes, this one’s going up in a puff of smoke.

“All along, we’ve been saying his cannabis scheme was going to be a failure and that’s just what it’s been,” said Thomas. “It’s another promise made, promise betrayed.”

Thomas points out that under the previous government’s more responsible plan for cannabis sales, dozens of publicly owned and managed cannabis stores would have opened back in the fall. He says Ford’s privatization scheme has given the criminal market months of extra time to thrive and fortify itself.

“The longer it takes to get a decent number of cannabis stores open, the happier the criminals are,” said Thomas. 

OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida says it’s not hard to see what’s really behind Ford’s cannabis scheme – just follow the money.

“Ford says the companies that got licences to sell cannabis were chosen through a lottery,” said Almeida. “Pretty lucky that an insider on Ford’s campaign team went on to an executive position at one of the companies that ‘won’ one of those licences. Ford is trying to play us for being a bunch of April fools, but nobody is going to buy it.”

Thomas said it’s not too late for the people of Ontario – who are 11 times more likely to say a public retailer like LCBO would be more effective at keeping our kids and communities safe from cannabis abuse – to force the premier to abandon his privatization scheme and adopt a responsible public plan instead.

“The leaders of more than 70 municipalities across the province said no to this scheme,” said Thomas. “They know that a responsible cannabis plan includes the LCBO, which has responsible staff to protect our youth.

“The April fools at the Premier’s Office are bringing nothing but April showers to the people of Ontario with this disastrous cannabis scheme,” Thomas concluded.

For more information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931