Peterborough County council has denied a request from Peterborough Police to share the funds the county received from the provincial government to help with costs from the legalization or marijuana.
In 2019, the county received $125,123 from the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Funds. Each individual township also received individual funding.
The money was provided to help compensate municipal costs relating to cannabis legalization, including costs faced by police, public health, or the courts.
According to a report from Peterborough Police, the force is now required to do officer training, additional RIDE checks and more, at an anticipated additional cost of $500,000.
However, most of the county is served by Peterborough County OPP, with the exceptions of Cavan Monaghan Township and the Lakefield ward of Selwyn Township.
During county council’s virtual meeting on Wednesday morning, Jim Martin, mayor of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, told council members they should consider consulting with the OPP.
North Kawartha Township Deputy Mayor Jim Whelan said he agreed with Martin.
“If we’re going to do anything with this money as far as our township is concerned, it’s going to go to the police service boards up our way or the OPP,” Whelan said.
“We have no connection with the Peterborough Police. So if the vote is that Cavan and Selwyn’s share go to the Peterborough Police, I’m fine with that, but not the North Kawartha share.”
Cavan Monaghan Deputy Mayor Matthew Graham said the funds were directed to the county to address costs that were incurred by the county. “And policing is not that cost,” he said.
Cavan Monaghan Mayor Scott McFadden said he believes the money shouldn’t be given to the city police nor the OPP.
“If there’s any responsibility when it comes to policing, it falls in the lower tier municipalities which also received funding. So I don’t agree with sending any moneys to the police, either the city or if an OPP request comes forward, because quite frankly policing is not a county matter,” he said.
Selwyn Deputy Mayor Sherry Senis said she doesn’t believe the province gave the county the money to give it back to the police.