“Thorold has moved from an industrial city to one where families want to live and visit. We have a new downtown – a busy one. There is much building going on and now we have this latest decision (by Thorold’s City Council to say ‘yes’ to Cannabis stores) which does not quite fit in.”
A Commentary by Pamela Minns, a Thorold resident and award-winning heritage advocate
Posted January 18th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – I am disappointed, but not surprised, that our new Thorold Council voted unanimously this past January 15th to have Cannabis stores in Thorold/Niagara.
I noted there were only two “letters to the editor” on this subject in the local newspaper.
I would have thought, with the keen interest in sports in Thorold, that we have families with children, and that members of our community would express their thoughts on this important subject offering some objection to Council, but as I understand it, only 1,600 responded to the City (with a total population of more than 18,000) on this subject, and a decision was made on that very low response where 65% “opted in” – that is 1,040 residents said “yes.”
I have written to Mayor and Council twice on this subject, expressing my concern – particularly when we are just now turning the corner and becoming a new municipality with the winning of the prestigious and much coveted Prince of Wales Prize; this does not quite go hand in hand with the sale of Cannabis.
A negative connotation is connected to the very name, and we are now missing the opportunity to give our community the respect and pride it deserves.
Thorold has moved from an industrial city to one where families want to live and visit. We have a new downtown – a busy one, there is much building going on and now we have this latest decision which does not quite fit in.
I am surprised that Council did not consider our image in their decision-making and I am also surprised that with a new Council (only 3 from the previous one) that an important subject such as this would be decided at the first formal City Hall meeting in the 4-year life of this Council.
I was hoping that, wisely, they would proceed slowly (as Niagara-on-the Lake did) to see how this move would play out in other municipalities. We can learn from the action and mistakes of others.
We all need to be involved in our community – to know what is happening at Council to change, and we hope improve, the place we call home.
Most issues today, whether they are desirable or not, are judged on the amount of money they will produce.
I would encourage all of our citizens to keep in touch and get involved with all the issues which are discussed at the Council meetings.
Council is not only making decisions on the spending of our tax dollars, but is sometimes making changes that will drastically affect the place we call home.
Pamela Minns is a long-time heritage advocate and former member of Heritage Thorold whose many years of efforts in partnership with fellow citizens, the City of Thorold and other parties has had a great deal to do with recognition the municipality has begun to receive nationally for the restoration and renewal of its downtown, in particular.
In 2016 Pamela Minns received the International Women’s Day Award from Women in Niagara during a ceremony hosted by the Women in Niagara (WIN) council and Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.
She has also contributed news and opinion pieces from time to time with Niagara At Large
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