‘Unfortunate’ decision

Dear Editor:

I attended Wellington North’s council meeting on Jan. 14 mainly to hear the debate on if they would opt in or out of allowing retail cannabis stores in our community. 

What a disappointment, as there was no discussion and not one councillor gave a reason on why they voted to opt in. They seemed to make their decision based on a survey that could be completed by anyone in Canada, or the world. They also seemed to put value in a survey of chamber of commerce members; I can’t imagine any retail business thinking that someone driving to Wellington North to purchase cannabis is going to shop at clothing stores, food stores, buy electronics or carpet, maybe they want lumber, an RV or a new car.

Maybe council thinks it will keep cannabis out of the hands of our youth, but if it’s anything like alcohol there is always someone of age that will purchase it for an underage friend. Now they won’t have to leave town to make their purchase.

Maybe council expects big money from the provincial government, but most of the money that may be available will, in all likelihood, be for law enforcement and this will go to the county.

It’s unfortunate that our council didn’t see fit to properly engage the public by following the example of many of our neighbours and hold public meetings; maybe they felt they were more qualified to make their decision for us.

I can’t imagine any young family wanting to move to Wellington North, and raise their family because we have cannabis retail stores.

This was probably one, if not the most important decision our council had an opportunity to get right and there is a good chance they may have failed.

It would have been interesting to know councillors’ reasons for the way they voted, but I guess we will never know. I know that I have lost respect for the four members of council that voted to opt in.

Bob Mason,

Mount Forest