Millroy: Opting In or Opting Out?

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Council has a report coming from staff that is to guide its members as to whether Sault Ste. Marie should opt out of allowing cannabis stores in the city.

The city through provincial government dictate has until Jan. 22 to decide.

Some councillors have indicated that through their own research they have found limited information about what is involved in allowing cannabis stores in the city and it seems to have bothered them.

Not Ward 3 Coun. Luke Dufour.

He said either way, he’s comfortable deciding with incomplete information.

However, The Sault Star story that quoted him didn’t give any indication which way that would be.

I would think that common sense would dictate that his vote would be for allowing cannabis stores to be set up within the city.

After all, they are a legal entity. If we can have liquor, beer and tobacco sales, surely we can have cannabis sales.

And Prince Township has already decided not to opt out. Would councillors actually consider having citizens of Sault Ste. Marie travel just outside city limits to buy their weed?.

That kind of thing takes me back to the 1950s in Alberta when mixed drinking could only be found in Canmore outside Calgary and St. Albert outside Edmonton..

Undoubtedly there are those who are against the sale of recreational cannabis, just as there are those who are against other things, such as same-sex marriage.

But when something has been declared legal, as the possession and use of recreational marijuana has been, we have to go with the flow.

As cannabis will be available to Sault residents whether the city opts in or out and that property will either be built or rented and jobs created, to me it would make no sense to do otherwise.

 

Over the past few weeks I have been writing about the failed attempts by local lawyer Don Orazietti to get bail for a client who has been charged with breach of recognizance.

John Seamus Fyfe, whom I have not named previously, was released on bail by Justice of the Peace J.A. Guitard, who is a lawyer, on Nov..2  in respect to a series of drug charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

One of the conditions of his bail was that he not be out of his residence without his surety, Michelle Bolland, but on Dec.6 he was arrested while sitting alone in a vehicle in the Canadian Tire parking lot.

Boland had stopped to use a washroom and when she approached the arresting officer apparently her explanation fell on deaf ears.

“At best this is a questionable violation of the order and shows that this city has too many police officers with nothing to do,” Orazietti said in a letter of complaint to Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Attorney General.

The arrest for the recognizance breach took place on Dec. 6. A month later Fyfe is still in jail, his lengthy incarceration seemingly more in line with that for a dangerous criminal than for someone breaching recognizance.

Justice of the Peace Kathleen Bryant, who Orazietti points out does not have a lawyer background as Guitard does, has adjourned Fyfe’s case for another two weeks, to Jan. 17/19, which Orazietti says is to allow the Crown to provide disclosure.

Orazietti said Fyfe is appealing the bail detention order.

“His bail appeal is in Superior Court, hopefully next Wednesday. Jan.10,” he said. “When a person is detained the Criminal Code says he or she is entitled to a bail review upon giving two clear days notice to the prosecution.”

Orazietti says his client has absolutely no record for violence and is a very high functioning individual.

I am not sure why the federal and provincial Crowns are pursuing Fyfe so vigorously. It does seem that this is overkill, that there would be more important things for them to spend their time on.

I know it has taken on legs of its own for Orazietti, who is using it to further his belief that justices of the peace who are going to hear such cases should be lawyers.

It is a belief I doubt any who aren’t justices of the peace now or who want to become one would quarrel with.

In any event, my intent here is mainly to keep you abreast of what is happening to Fyfe, considering I placed it before you in the first place, Orazietti having copied Kirk Makin of The Globe and Mail, the legal affairs department of The Toronto Star and myself at saultonline..

Doug Millroy can be reached at dmillroy@gmail.com.

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. I’m pretty sure that you’ve got the wrong ward boundaries. Maybe you shouldn’t be writing stories with incomplete facts….

  2. This is a new year with approximately 50% new councillors. They need to get the proper information and with one councillor already claiming he can make decisions without complete information tells me he has already made up his mind.

    Ward 3 Coun. Luke Dufour.
    “He said either way, he’s comfortable deciding with incomplete information”.

    Mr Dufour you need only to look back to the fiasco created with Sault Fire Services when councillors blindly listened a master of manipulation, the Former Fire Chief Figliola, and voted in his ill conceived plan. This eventually cost the city $100,000 to have someone provide the information they should have asked for in the first place.

    Mr Dufour. If you want to work with incomplete information you have “NO” business on city council.

    The City Police, EMS, Fire Service, SAH, Algoma Public health, etc all have facts on the use of cannabis in our city.
    Cannabis is legal, just like alcohol and tobacco, and it comes with regulations and laws.

    Not having a place to purchase safe cannabis locally will only result in people returning to street dealers as a matter of convenience. With that, we will see more people encountering cannabis that has been laced by other drugs to make them more potent.
    You can make all kinds of statements that it’s the users choice to take that route, but in the long run, this city is trying to reduce the opioid crisis. One start is to eliminate the possibility of people purchasing laced cannabis.

    The Provincial Cannabis online store cannot keep up with the demand for this legal product. This doesn’t say that all of a sudden people are now starting to use cannabis. What it says it that people want to buy from a legal and safe source.

    This is just something else to think about when you make your decisions. It’s really not that hard to find information if you are doing your job.

      • You’re absolutely right John. The only comment I made is about laced cannabis. True, I haven’t read any news locally that this has happened however it has happened in other cities. I would hope that it will not occur here as we already have a huge opioid issue here.
        I apologize if that is where I have misled anyone.
        Do I think people will continue to buy from the illegal dealers if it’s not available legally? Yes.

    • Very curious why Mr. Dufour would be satisfied with not having ALL THE FACTS. He represents my ward….I voted for him…I expect him to look at what is presented and THEN make a decision.

  3. In respect to the other matter it really does not take a degree or human provincial paper examinations to be capable of sorting out truth from lies, right from wrong or situations beyond any person’s comprehension.

  4. Even if the reconsideration is to look good it is better than succumbing to the enabling of dope usage.

    It would be forward thinking also to expect decent public input not condoning vulgarity in these reply areas.

  5. If one goes by statues they would be seriously confused about what is actual right, wrong, good, bad, true or false.

    There is plenty that is not good that gets treated as if it is right . There is much misleading documentation, reporting and other.

  6. This is sure one ass backwards city that will never get out of it’s funk.
    Backwards thinkers from the get-go.

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