In an earlier letter to the News, Gordon Browne expressed disappointment with Coun. Robert Filmer’s ‘recent position’ around Qualicum Beach’s ‘pending pot shop opening.’ It’s not clear whether Mr. Browne attended the Jan. 10 committee of the whole meeting (COW) where this was discussed. Unfortunately, only a few members of the public were there at this point in the meeting.
At the Dec. 17 council meeting, Coun. Filmer requested that the subject of cannabis retail and public use be referred to a future COW meeting to permit further public comment.
This was proposed for several reasons. The new council had not been part of the original decision on this matter which was based on consideration of medical not recreational cannabis use and a different retail location on Fir Street. On this basis, the new council decided that further public discussion at a COW meeting was warranted.
At this meeting, Coun. Filmer outlined his views and concerns quite clearly. What was particularly impressive was that Coun. Filmer had taken the initiative to meet with several youth groups to discuss this matter.
Concerns were expressed about the location being close to the library and nearby daycare facilities. In addition, there are concerns about the effective enforcement of the terms and conditions of the temporary use permit and the lease agreement which will be a challenge of the Town.
Coun. Filmer made it quite clear that it was not his intent to reverse the decision but raised concerns about whether the public dialogue was done properly. Coun. Filmer should be commended for his efforts and it’s unfortunate more members of the public did not participate in this meeting.
One wonders what the broad segment of the public thinks on this whole matter. Maybe only time will tell.