Ottawa to stay clear of provincial pot plans

Marijuana legalization is expected to come in 2018

The federal government appears ready to take a hands-off approach as provinces begin rolling out how they plan to police the sale and use of marijuana once it becomes legal.

Ontario last week became the first province to unveil its plans for handling legalized pot by announcing that it would closely mimic the province’s current system for liquor.

Marijuana will be sold at 150 dedicated stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, it will only be sold by those aged 19 or over, and consumption will only be allowed in private residences.

British Columbia has yet to signal how it will regulate legal marijuana but

READ: Battle over future of legal marijuana in B.C. just starting

The proposal has sparked anger and concern from some pot activists and aspiring retailers, who have warned that Ontario’s proposed model will limit supplies and do little to eliminate the black market.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale refused to weigh in Sunday on Ontario’s proposed plan, and indicated that the federal government would stay out of how provinces address marijuana legalization.

“Each province has the flexibility to design it the way they think most appropriate. Ontario has laid out their proposal. That’s within their jurisdiction to do,” he said.

“Other provinces, I would imagine now, will come forward with their recommendations. They may follow the Ontario model. They may choose a different approach.”

READ: Federal task force issues pot plant recommendations

Goodale, who spoke to reporters following a ceremony to honour fallen firefighters in Ottawa, reaffirmed that the purpose of legalization is to keep pot away from minors and organized crime.

And he expressed confidence that whatever model individual provinces decide to adopt, those aims will be met.

“Each province will adopt different tools as they see fit for their jurisdiction,” Goodale said.

“But there is no diluting of the goal: protect our kids and stop the flow to crime. And Ontario, I’m sure, will be designing that they believe will accomplish that objective effectively.”

READ: B.C. eagerly anticipating federal pot law; NDP, Greens prepare policy

The Trudeau government is moving to legalize recreational marijuana by next July, and earmarked $247 million over five years on Friday to support policing and border efforts associated with that plan.

Goodale said the money is part of the Liberals’ promise to ensure provinces, municipalities and law-enforcement agencies have the tools and resources to enforce the new laws governing legalized pot.

“Law enforcement will need the tools to do that job, so we put money on the table as promised to assist with training and to assist with the acquisition of the right kind of technical equipment,” he said.

The promised new funding includes $161 million to train frontline officers in how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug-impaired driving, provide access to drug-screening devices and educate the public.

Some of that money will also be used to develop policy, bolster research and raise awareness about the dangers of drug-impaired driving.

The remaining $113 million will go to Public Safety, the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure organized crime does not infiltrate the legalized system and to keep pot from crossing borders.

Just Posted

Fake cop scares Brookswood drivers

Police have issued a warrant for a man allegedly behind a recent incident.

Langley Township seeking applicants for parks and rec

The Township is looking to fill some upcoming job vacancies.

TEDxLangley tickets now only available at the door Saturday

The annual conference takes place Saturday and features an array of topics.

Suspicious blaze guts car in Langley City

RCMP are investigating and looking for a suspect vehicle.

Langley ball hockey group rounding up equipment

A new initiative will help provide equipment for families facing financial hardship.

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Aldergrove Kodiaks take beating

Aldergrove Kodiaks took a beating in their first period against Richmond Sockeyes Wednesday night

Women’s March Canada Fraser Valley slated for Saturday morning

It’s a march for women’s rights and social justice for the most marginalized

Police investigate sexual assault of teen girl on Abbotsford school grounds

Incident occurred Wednesday night on elementary school grounds

Most Read