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Have Your Say: Public Engagement

The legalization of recreational cannabis will have many impacts. Cannabis will become part of our local economy, it will be regulated through federal and provincial laws and in some of our bylaws. You could see it being produced and sold in our communities.

The proposed Bylaw changes to accommodate the legalization of cannabis was driven by feedback and input from residents and stakeholders in keeping with proposed federal and provincial regulations and respect for the role and rights of the Indigenous communities in the region.

At a municipal level, we have made changes to the Land Use Bylaw and License Bylaw and have approved a new Smoking and Vaping Bylaw. These bylaws were all approved by Council meeting on July 9, 2018. Visit the Council agenda package and live video feed from the July 9 meeting here to learn more about these bylaws.

Overall, 13 public engagement sessions were held across the region. There were over 2,700 participants in a public survey from Feb. 20 to May 23, 2018 and we interacted directly with over 1,000 residents interested in learning more and providing input on the process. This included various meetings, presentations and focused conversations with a cross-section of community stakeholders.

Key findings from public engagement and meetings with stakeholders included:

  • 57% were concerned about cannabis use where use will gather (33% were not concerned, 10% other)
  • 79% want minimum distances from cannabis retail stores to extend beyond schools and hospitals to other public spaces such as daycares, drug and rehabilitation centres and playgrounds
  • On the issue of public consumption, 38% preferred a combination of currently alcohol and tobacco laws, 29% preferred it be like the current alcohol model, 28% like the current tobacco model and 5% other
  • 40% think cannabis consumption should be banned in public
  • 66% think cannabis will be positive for the region’s economy (18% disagree, 16% other)

The full results of the public survey will be posted here shortly.

Engagement public engagement sessions were held on following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m. (Mawami Hall)
  • Thursday, Feb. 22, 6-8 p.m. (Conklin Community Centre)
  • Saturday, Apr. 14, 4-6 p.m. (Anzac Recreation Centre)
  • Monday, Apr. 16, 4-8 p.m. (Suncor Community Leisure Centre main concourse, MacDonald Island Park)
  • Thursday, Apr. 19, 4-8 p.m. (Suncor Community Leisure Centre main concourse, MacDonald Island Park)
  • Friday, Apr. 27, 1-9 p.m. (Fort McMurray Tourism Spring Trade Show & Market, MacDonald Island Park)
  • Saturday, Apr. 28, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Fort McMurray Tourism Spring Trade Show & Market, MacDonald Island Park)
  • Sunday, Apr. 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Fort McMurray Tourism Spring Trade Show & Market, MacDonald Island Park)
  • Monday, May 7, 6-8 p.m. (Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre, AMEC Room)
  • Wednesday, May 9, 6-8 p.m. (Janvier Municipal Office)
  • Thursday, May 10, 7-9 p.m. (Vista Ridge All Seasons Park)
  • Tuesday, May 15, 5-8 p.m. (Fort McKay Fire Hall)
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2-4 p.m. (Father Périn School)

The conversation doesn’t end here. We are still connecting with you with public information opportunities so you learn more about the proposed bylaw changes and how they will impact and benefit our community.

Please contact pulse@rmwb.ca if you and/or your organization would like to request a one-on-one meeting with municipal representatives. We are open to meeting at your convenience to hear your ideas and thoughts and how we can best manage cannabis legalization together as a community.