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Thomas to Toronto, Ottawa council: Take back your power and opt out of Ford’s private cannabis scheme

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling on city councillors in Toronto and Ottawa to opt-out of Doug Ford’s irresponsible scheme to privatize the retail sale of cannabis.

“Now is the time for city councillors in Toronto and Ottawa to take back their power from Doug Ford by opting out of his reckless and dangerous plan to allow an unlimited number of private cannabis stores, sometimes within a stone’s throw of schools,” said Thomas.

“City councillors in Markham and Mississauga have already stood up to Ford by opting-out of his scheme and are demanding a responsible plan. It’s time for Toronto and Ottawa councillors to follow suit.”

Toronto’s and Ottawa’s councillors are set to vote on Thursday whether or not they will allow private retails stores within their cities.

Thomas is urging the councillors to visit www.responsibleplan.ca before they vote. It’s the website of an OPSEU campaign urging the premier to abandon his fully privatized cannabis scheme and adopt instead a responsible plan that gives municipalities the ability to choose the LCBO as a cannabis retailer.

“Red flags are popping up all over the place on the government’s cannabis plan,” said Thomas.  “OPSEU had to track down the Ontario Cannabis Store distribution centre because the government is being evasive about the details, what else is the Premier not telling us about?”

Ottawa mayor Jim Watson is on the record saying he would prefer the LCBO sell cannabis.

“People trust the LCBO because it has a long and proven track record of responsible sales and returning billions in revenue to the people of Ontario,” said OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “It’s easy to see why so many people want the LCBO as a cannabis retailer: it’s tried, tested, and true.”

Public opinion by Nanos Research recently showed that Ontarians are 11 times more likely to trust the LCBO over private retailers to keep cannabis out of the hands of kids.

“I’m urging Toronto and Ottawa city councillors to do the right thing for the kids and the communities of the city,” said Thomas. “They should demand a responsible, public plan and just say no to Doug’s.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931