Pubdate: Wed, 14 Mar 2018
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2018 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Gillian Slade
Page: A3


You can still have your say about cannabis restrictions in the
community until Wednesday afternoon but concerns have been raised
about people being able to submit more than one survey.

"Yes, there are no restrictions based on IP addresses as this is city
policy," said Jim Genge senior planner, planning and development services.

Restrictions would make it difficult to complete the survey, including
for the more than 500 who completed it at the Home and Garden Trade
Show, he said. It would also restrict more than one person in a
household from having a say.

"All IP addresses are logged through (an online service) and if we
notice any significant misuse of the survey we will be able to deal
with it," said Genge.

In that case it is "not an honest survey" and the number of
submissions does not mean the number of people surveyed, says Cathy
Smith, local resident and former councillor.

Those who did not know you could submit more than one survey from a
computer will have missed out, and others may have abused the
situation and submitted many more, said Smith.

Genge says it is unlikely anyone is going to take the "time to 'pad
the stats' of the survey by completing it hundreds and hundreds of
times, as that is what it would take to make a difference."

If the city notices hundreds of surveys from one IP address that was
not at the trade show, library or some other public Internet
connection, the matter will be referred to the city's corporate
communications department, said Genge.

Without local restrictions related to cannabis, a retail location
could sprout up in any commercial or industrial area as long as it is
100 metres from a school or public health facility. That means they
could be next to coffee shops or at your neighbourhood convenience
store, said Genge.

Provincial restrictions on operating hours for retail cannabis stores
in Alberta will be 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. but municipalities can restrict
that further.

The survey is about conveying community values to council. Here's a
link to the city's website where you can participate in the survey or
print a copy and submit it.

Genge says most seniors' residences and churches are making printed
copies of the survey available. You can also obtain a printed copy at
city hall or ask someone at the library to help you access the city's
site and print a copy if you are not able to do so at home.

Completed copies must be submitted by the end of the day on Wednesday.
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