Column: December 7, 2018

Council to consider report on cannabis retail stores on December 13 – A report providing options on retail cannabis stores in Ottawa was tabled at the City Council meeting on December 5. Council will be considering this report at a Special Council Meeting scheduled for Thursday, December 13 at Ottawa City Hall. Public delegations will be received at this meeting. Any residents interested in speaking to Council as whole as a public delegation can complete a form at the meeting or can contact Tara Anderson at tara.anderson1@ottawa.ca, 613-580-2424 ext. 27156 in advance. I strongly recommend residents READ THE REPORT. This report provides the options and consequences of opting-out of the Province of Ontario’s regime for private cannabis retail stores. It includes information on crime-related consequences, economic development opportunities and public health considerations, and summarizes the results of public input on retail stores. The report also outlines the key facets of the Province’s retail cannabis regime that will be regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the role of municipalities within that regime and potential mechanisms for providing feedback to the AGCO. Finally, the report provides an update on the City of Ottawa’s actions to prepare for and address the implementation of cannabis legalization.The staff recommendation contained in the Report, which has been table and which Council will be considering on December 13, notes that staff is recommending Council agree to have private cannabis retail stores in Ottawa – that is, that City Council not “opt out” of the provincial regulatory regime, for the following reasons:

- the anticipated negative consequences of allowing the illicit cannabis market to flourish if there is an absence of a legal retail option for recreational cannabis users;

- the potential economic development opportunities and impacts of having private retail cannabis stores in Ottawa;

- the public health benefits related to the quality of legal cannabis product and the education and support that can be provided at the point of sale in a retail store model; and

- the public input received in favour of having cannabis retail stores, and for cannabis consumers in particular, in favour of shopping at retail stores

Get your Christmas tree from our volunteer firefighters – The volunteer firefighters of Station 84 are providing locally sourced Christmas trees. If you’re still in need of a tree for your home, please consider support our volunteer firefighters and get your tree from them. Drop by the Public Works Building at the corner of March and the 417, between 9am and 4pm on December 8, 9, 15 and 16.West Carleton Legion holding Christmas fun – On Saturday, December 8 the Legion in Constance Bay is holding a Sandhill Seniors Christmas Party. Turkey dinner by Harriet, entertainment by Simon Clarke “A Touch of Class.” Check at the bar to see if any tickets are available. Seniors club members $15, non-members $20. Please bring an item for the food bank. Then on Sunday, December 9, the Legion is hosting a Children’s Christmas Party, from 12:30pm to 3pm. Bring your little ones for a visit with Santa! There will be lunch, cookie decorating and crafts. Santa will arrive around 2:15pm with something for all the kids! Parents, please sneak a $10 wrapped gift to the bartender for Santa to hand out to your kids.

MY ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FOOD DRIVE for the West Carleton Food Access Centre is ongoing until December 21! Residents can drop off non-perishable food items to the ward office (5670 Carp Rd.) Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Items needed are canned fruit, canned stew, tomato paste, dish soap, laundry soap and packaged chocolate chip cookies. Please, no expired products.

MY COLLECTION FOR SAVVY SECONDS. My ward office is also collecting new socks and new underwear (must be packaged) for Savvy Seconds. Residents can drop off donations of all sizes Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.