Veteran Heritage Advocate Fears a Cannabis Store Could Hurt Thorold’s Downtown Renewal

“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

In 2017, the revitalization of downtown Thorold  has begun to receive national attention. It  has been a project done in partnership with local heritage advocates like Pamela Minns, local businesses, Thorold’s city council and the provincial and federal governments.

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

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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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



3 responses to “Veteran Heritage Advocate Fears a Cannabis Store Could Hurt Thorold’s Downtown Renewal

  1. Respectfully, Pamela Minns’ concerns are without justification or merit and instead appear to stem from decades of misinformation and deliberate brainwashing by our government and the pharmaceutical industry. Cannabis has been in Thorold and every other community forever. Those who have wanted to partake always have. What is noteworthy is that Pamela Minns does not seem to know this. Why? Because cannabis is NOT a problem. People are NOT stoned out of their minds and creating havoc in our communities. Further, cannabis is a safer option than alcohol but there seems to be no issue raised here with the many liquor licenses in Thorold.
    And, finally, cannabis is growing in acceptance as a medicine extremely capable of treating pain, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, glaucoma, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and seizures, insomnia, some forms of cancer, loss of appetite, menstrual cramps, asthma, Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease, Multiple Sclerosis, etc., etc., etc. and all without unwanted side effects (unlike pharmaceuticals)!
    It is irresponsible to NOT have a cannabis dispensary in Thorold or any other community. We should all have access to dispensaries at which there is not only a huge host of products that include buds, oils, tinctures, sprays, edibles, vaporizers and other accessories but also staff with a wealth of knowledge on all things THC, CBD, indica and sativa so that consumers can go home with products best suited to their needs. “Street” products have always been available and will continue to be available but there has always been issues regarding purity and potency. A dispensary puts those issues to rest.


  2. Pamela, the actual Prince of Wales has said he has smoked cannabis.


  3. Gary Screaton Page

    There is a saying, “Be careful what you ask for; you may get it!” We now have legal use of cannabis. Now let’s see how the impaired driving rates go up under cannabis influence, how addictions increase, and how our community is otherwise impacted. One can mess with the human brain without paying a price: if not now, in the future We have no real understanding of the long-term effects of cannabis use on an entire generation and the ones that follow. This is one huge dangerous experiment that I fear will eclipse the consequence of our fondness for alcohol! Time will tell.


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