HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Police Want Business To Help Fight Grow Houses
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Mar 2004
Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Bookmark: (Green Tide Summit)



Police and all levels of government need private-sector help to identify 
and eliminate marijuana grow houses that pose an ever-increasing threat to 
communities across the province, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of 
Police said yesterday.

"There's a need for leaders in the real estate, insurance and banking 
sectors to work with police, hydro companies and government officials," 
said Halton police Chief Ean Algar, president of the association.

Algar was speaking at the opening of a two-day conference sponsored by the 
province, called the Green Tide Summit, aimed at co-ordinating efforts of 
police, public utilities, the private sector and individuals in the fight 
against the indoor pot farms.

"This illegal activity feeds drug use, guns and violence in the province," 
said Algar.

"Anyone who claims that grow-ops are benign simply has not seen what the 
police see in these grow homes, and has not experienced what we've 
experienced in dealing with these public menaces."

Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter echoed Algar's call for more 
assistance from private companies and individuals in dealing with grow 
houses, which are often set up with stolen electricity that poses a serious 
fire risk.

"This is not a problem that can be solved by one police force, one 
organization, one ministry or one government," said Kwinter. "This is a 
community problem that can be addressed only if we pool our talents and 
resources and work together."

Growing marijuana proved to be a death sentence for a Winnipeg man yesterday.

Daniel William Nolin, 41, was adjusting the lights on his home marijuana 
grow operation when he was electrocuted, RCMP said.

Kwinter told delegates the recent discovery of six children living in 
squalid conditions in a marijuana grow house in York Region, north of 
Toronto, shows how urgent the problem really is, especially with estimates 
that up to 10,000 children in Ontario live in similar circumstances.

"Think about the hazards to which they may have been exposed: chemicals, 
pesticides, hazardous moulds, not to mention the very real threat of 
violence and fire," said Kwinter.

Gwen Boniface, commissioner of the OPP, talked about the recent raids on 
the largest-ever grow-op discovered in Canada inside an old brewery in Barrie.

"It's typical of these types of operations," said Boniface. "They're smart, 
well-financed and ruthless in their pursuit of profits."

Hydro One president Tom Parkinson said marijuana grow operations steal 
millions of dollars in electricity every year.

"This is not only a drain on the Ontario economy that affects all 
electricity customers . . . but also a safety issue," said Parkinson.
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