Like many civic leaders across Canada, councillors in the town of
Hampstead, Que., were worried about the idea of people smoking
marijuana on the street once the drug became legal. So they drew up a
tough bylaw - and it's set to become the most restrictive anti-smoking
measure in the country.
In a move that experts predict will motivate other Canadian
municipalities, the town of 7,100 has adopted a draft bylaw that would
ban smoking everywhere in public, including streets and sidewalks.
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Critics fear it will force more to light up indoors
MONTREAL * A Montreal suburb's plan to ban all smoking in public
places is drawing mixed reactions, with one anti-tobacco advocate
saying it will do more harm than good when it comes to second-hand
Hampstead city council adopted a draft bylaw this week that would
prohibit tobacco or marijuana smoking on municipal property, including
sidewalks and streets.
If the bylaw is enacted, Hampstead would become the first municipality
in the country to ban smoking in the street, according to the Canadian
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Protesters carrying signs saying "Injustice is fatal!" laid dozens of
white carnations next to a coffin on the steps of Montreal City Hall
Tuesday, each representing a life lost to a drugoverdose.
A coalition of community groups, crisis workers, activists and drug
users held a demonstration demanding the government repeal drug laws
that marginalize drug users.
They also held a moment of silence - joining several vigils held
simultaneously across Canada. The opioid crisis claimed nearly 3,000
lives in 2016, and the estimated death toll last year is pegged at
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'Be it resolved the government of Canada should treat drug abuse as a
health issue, expand treatment and harm reduction services and
re-classify low-level drug possession and consumption as
That's the concluding sentence of a draft resolution up for possible
consideration at the federal Liberals' next policy convention, to be
held in Halifax this April. It follows a preamble that suggests Canada
should follow the example of Portugal, which in 2001 did just that,
decriminalizing possession of relatively small amounts of illicit drugs.
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The province's psychiatrists QUEBEC are calling on Quebec to slap
limits on the potency of the cannabis soon to be sold in
state-controlled stores because of the health risks of a drug they say
can no longer be considered soft.
And the city of Montreal has warned the government it will need a
hefty share of the tax revenues pot sales generate to cover the costs
of applying the province's cannabis legislation.
Based on an independent study produced by Raymond Chabot Grant
Thornton, the city estimates legalization will cost Montreal between
$4.7 million and $9.3 million a year in new costs in the form of
additional hires and training of police officers as well as public
education and human resource costs.
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Quebec municipalities seek piece of 'pot pie' as legalization creates
With Canada's legalization of cannabis slated for July 2018,
municipalities in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region could find themselves
with an additional source of revenue next year. They could find
themselves with many additional expenses, too.
As Quebec puts a claim on half of potential tax revenues related to
sales, Quebec municipalities are demanding that one-third of that tax
revenue be dedicated to them. The rationale for towns asking for their
share is based on an assumption of increased costs for municipalities
for law enforcement, urban planning and court costs according to the
Union of Quebec Municipalities (UQM).
[continues 274 words]