In the town’s virtual council meeting on Tuesday night, a recommendation was passed to support the City of Hamilton's letter, asking the Provincial government to extend authority to municipalities that would allow them to enforce odor and lighting nuisance complaints against licensed and unlicensed cannabis cultivations within their jurisdictions.
Council endorsed the letter addressed to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti, Premier Doug Ford, and Attorney General Doug Downey.
Coun. Gary Lamb suggested copying the letter to AMO, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
"It'd be nice to let them, AMO, know that we're supporting the City of Hamilton and maybe they will get a little bit more traction because they have a way of getting into the halls of the legislature," Lamb said.
Deputy Mayor James Leduc agreed.
"It's a great letter. It's what we need to do, to get the province to give us the authority to go and enforce this ourselves when it comes to greenhouses, especially marijuana greenhouses. We need to have a better say on what is going on in our communities," Leduc said. "We certainly want to show our support."
Coun. Gary Baynes asked the town's Chief Administrative Officer, Geoff McKnight if it was possible to get neighbouring towns like King Township, which has jurisdiction over half of the Holland Marsh, on board to support the request.
"Do we have a way of rallying the neighbouring municipalities?" he asked.
McKnight confirmed the town can copy the letter and council's decision, and send both to neighbouring municipalties.
"I suspect they would have received it as well," he noted. "We can follow up and make sure they are aware of what our council decides."
Mayor Rob Keffer asked McKnight to comment on the new site plan by-law enacted last month. The interim control by-law in place requires site plan control, governing the physical development of properties to address issues such as site layout, design of buildings, fencing, screening of uses, access, noise and odour abatement.
McKnight noted there have been no new building permit applications since the by-law was enacted.
Deputy Mayor Leduc wondered if the town has been checking into any of the illegal growing operations that may have sprung up. “Are we doing any enforcement out in the Marsh now?" he asked.
Director of Corporate Services Rebecca Murphy confirmed that the town has been investigating the nature of greenhouses in the Marsh and has a meeting set up with both King Township and East Gwillimbury, to regulate producers and “to provide a consistent approach to growing in the Marsh.”
"A consistent policy (with King Township and EG) in place will be good," noted Mayor Rob Keffer.
Council voted unanimously to support Hamilton's request.