Article by Gary Rinne,Thunder Bay News Watch
The City of Thunder Bay has told provincial government officials what areas to avoid when they consider where to set up a local cannabis retail outlet this July.
Prospective locations, city hall says, should only be ones that are “away from waterways, away from schools, away from areas where young people may gather.”
Linda Evans, general manager of corporate services, said that was the feedback city representatives gave at a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario in late November.
In an interview, Evans told tbnewswatch.com that the government officials were receptive, and “definitely heard our concerns, and were going to take it back and look at the options that were available to them in the city.”
She said the provincial delegation gave no indication as to what specific locations were being considered. “They were just going away to see what areas and commercial properties were available at that time.”
The city delegation also requested that the province respect the municipality’s zoning regulations in choosing a site for the cannabis store.
Thunder Bay was included in a November announcement of 14 cities initially chosen to host stand-alone cannabis outlets, while another 15 cities were named in December.
The government has stated that it intends to work closely with municipalities and will consider community priorities when choosing store locations.
The LCBO, which will oversee the operation of the stores through a subsidiary corporation, says it is still in the process of identifying its preferred sites.
In a response to questions from tbnewswatch.com, a spokesperson said Monday that the public will get a chance to comment once a site has been selected in Thunder Bay.
There is no projected date for the announcement, but a notice of the decision will be posted online at lcbocannabisupdates.com.
The spokesperson said the public feedback, which will be accepted online at that same site, will help the LCBO “understand any issues we should be aware of with the identified site.”