Municipal council met July 11 to go over reports, bylaws, capital budget amendments and Councillor Sheldon Germain’s motion for administration to begin a plan to implement safety procedures once cannabis is legalized.
The Government of Canada is proposing legislation to legalize, regulate and restrict access to cannabis by July 28, 2018.
Germains motion encourages council to look at various municipal bylaws, establish the parameters around cannabis dispensaries and places it could be sold in the RMWB.
The motion also looks at restricting the smoking of cannabis, cannabis-based products or related products in an appropriate vicinity of any schools, playgrounds, parks, childcare centres, places of worship, community centres or at any public events.
Local residents voiced their opinions to council.
Jim Rogers told council he was worried about the decisions children would make if they had access to cannabis and were using.
Jay Telegdi said he uses medical marijuana for mental health reasons and would like to do openly so in Fort McMurray.
He added that being able to smoke cannabis in a group setting would be beneficial for people with mental health issues.
The motion passed 10 to 1 with Councillor Colleen Tatum voting against.
Although she thanked Telegdi for his comments, she does not think this issue would be a good use of municipal time given the federal government’s involvement in the issue.
Also during the meeting, there was a presentation on FireSmart, and the Tabernacle of Praise Church (TOP) requested to purchase additional land in Waterways to facilitate their rebuild.
The land was formally used for the community centre in Waterways and several residents of the neighbourhood voiced their opinions on which should be rebuilt.
Council unanimously voted to sell the lot to the TOP Church and approved the expansion of the building.