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Cannabis Forum Monday July 25, 2016

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On Monday July 25, 2016 I held a forum on Cannabis Dispensaries regulations.

Below you will find statements that have been supplied to me by debutants.

 

Also you can see the whole video of the forum Click here

Cannabis Friendly Business Association         Click here to view their deputation

 

Heather Huff Deposition – Toronto Cannabis Forum, July 25, 2016

Hello and thank you for having me today. My name is Heather Huff, I am a medical marijuana patient, a patient advocate and volunteer Representive of the Toronto Dispensaries Coalition.

I would like to use my time today to share the personal reasons I am involved in the medical marijuana industry. Each patient has their own story, but for the most part the beginning and the end are the same. Pain, followed by relief. Thanks to medical marijuana.

Contrary to the ‘marijuana culture’ that we are often show in the media, I take medical cannabis very seriously as the reason I use it is very serious.

I was diagnosed with Chron’s Disease in my early twenties, a difficult and often embarrassing disease which is diagnosed in one of every 150 people in Canada, the highest incidence rate in the world. The symptoms of Chron’s Disease include abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fever, rapid weight loss, anemia, skin rashes, arthritis, and chronic fatigue, as someone with Chron’s disease I have a much high likelihood of being diagnosed with bowel cancer.   I suffered through these complications for years until I finally gained access to medical marijuana. I use medical marijuana, assist other patients in their usage and work in the industry not because it’s fun, not for profit but because medical marijuana provides much needed relief to the indignities of pain and suffering.  Two years later my brother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and he began using Cannabis as an alternative to needles and pills. My family considers ourselves very lucky that he has been able to use medical marijuana rather than follow the unfortunate path of so many others with serious illness who have grown dependent on heavy duty pharmaceuticals which are commonly used for treatment.

I wish I could say our story ended there. Unfortunately access to medical marijuana has been and continues to be challenging in this country due to the incredibly flawed Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). Patients who rely on medical marijuana face chronic delays, product shortages, lack of variety and certain products which are just plain unavailable.

The shortcomings of the current regulation have been recognized by The Federal Court where in the Allard Decision they have been declared invalid. The federal government must update these regulations by the end of August, we aren’t hopeful that the MMPR will be modernized to an acceptable level to ensure patient dignity and reliable access.

These reasons are exactly why we are calling on council to adopt safe, sensible and reasonable regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. City Hall has the opportunity to lead the way in ensuring that medical marijuana patients have safe, dignified access.

I have seen first hand how beneficial dispensaries have been to myself as well as the thousands of other patients who just don’t know where to begin with the current confusing and inaccessible system.

Everyone here knows that governments can be slow to catch up to the needs and demands of the public. Rather than using police to enforce outdated laws that are set to be taken off the books, government should update and modernize regulations – beginning here at City Hall. Unlike, the profits over patients licensed producers, dispensaries provide education and knowledge for patients who require it. When working behind the counter at a Dispensary I took great pride in being able to  educate patients because I was once in their shoes, in pain and unable to deal with a flawed system.

It would be encouraging to see lawmakers work with their community of patients who choose to medicate with Cannabis instead of turning them back to the black markets or pills and needles.

There is plenty of room within Toronto and surrounding areas for dispensaries to operate ensuring that patients within all regions of the city have reliable access to the medicine which they rely on.

Toronto now has the opportunity to remain modern, by joining Vancouver, Victoria and other jurisdictions in adopting safe, sensible and reasonable regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. This isn’t about profit, it’s about dignity and relief for patients. If that’s not enough for Council, they should also consider the potential tax revenues which could be captured by leading the way on regulation for medical purposes now and when marijuana becomes legal for recreational purposes.

Thank you for your time and please consider helping the thousands of Torontonians who rely on medical marijuana get from pain to relief a little more easily.

 

 

June 6, 2016 – Resurfacing driveways by asphalt and/or paving stones

Are you thinking of resurfacing your driveway or replacing the asphalt and/or paving stones?

In order to do so, you will need to contact Transportation Services at the Scarborough Civic Centre in order to obtain a Paving Permit. You may contact Transportation Services at 416-396-7505 or visit them at Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive, 2nd Floor, Scarborough, Ontario.

Long Grass, Weeds and Natural Gardens

What are the standards for lawns, grass and vegetation?

Municipal Code Chapter 489, Grass and Weeds and Chapter 743, Streets and Sidewalks outline outlines standards with respect to grass, weeds and vegetation on private property, streets and sidewalks. These standards apply to properties in Toronto  and include standards for any gardens on the public portions of a property. The owner or occupant of private land is required to cut the grass and weeds on their land, and remove the cuttings whenever the growth of grass and weeds exceeds 20 cm (8 inches) in height.

August 25, 2015 – Update on the City of Toronto’s Rooming House Review

As you know, the Municipal Licensing and Standards Department of the City of Toronto, in conjunction with City Planning and with the support of numerous other divisions, is conducting a Rooming House Review.

An important part of the Rooming House Review is public consultation meetings with stakeholders and concerned Torontonians. Many of you participated in the public meeting that we held in Ward 39 in April 2015.

UberX

To all that have send me emails, calls and twits about UberX,

You will be surprised to know that I am working to make sure that this technology is brought forth in our city. I think your understanding of the facts is misguided.

On July 3, 2015, Mr. Justice Sean Dunphy, of the Ontario Superior Court, denied an application by the City of Toronto for an injunction against Uber, saying there is no evidence the company is operating as a taxi broker.

The taxi industry is being seriously impacted by Uber. The City needs to amend its bylaws governing the taxi industry to enable taxi companies to be more competitive with Uber and services like it.

Council adopted my Motion with respect to Review of Uber Operations, Technologies and Benefits and Impact on the Current Taxicab Industry. After considerable debate on this important issue, Motion MM8.28 was adopted as amended –

 “1. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to review the operations of Uber and technologies like it, including the interests of the public in the technologies and their impacts on the current taxicab industry, and report to the September 18, 2015 meeting of the Licensing and Standards Committee, on the following matters:

  1. what by-law changes are necessary to bring new and emerging technologies into regulation as part of the City’s for-hire ground transportation industry;
  2. how the City can ensure public safety and consumer protection are maintained;
  3. how the City can ensure a level playing field is established and maintained with respect to commercial insurance, driver training, equality of fares and other licensing issues; and
  4. ensure the recommended changes are reviewed at least every five years, or when deemed necessary before that time.
  5. City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, in consultation with the City Solicitor and the Director, Strategic Communications, to communicate with the public and unlicensed for-hire drivers about the regulations and risks for those engaged in providing or using unlicensed transportation services.
  6. City Council request the Toronto Police Services Board to request the Chief of Police to enforce the Highway Traffic Act, City by-laws and all other applicable laws in respect to unlicensed drivers who transport passengers in a motor vehicle for compensation.
  7. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to enforce all applicable City by-laws in respect to unlicensed drivers who transport passengers in a motor vehicle for compensation.”

As you can see it my motion which is under consideration to bring the latest technology to the transportation industry in Toronto.

Rooming Houses

Rooming Houses have become a great concern in our neighbourhood. Scarborough-Agincourt was originally designed as a single family housing area.

However, over the years, the makeup of our neighbourhood has changed – single family homes are being converted to multiple housing units.

June 19, 2015 – Letter to Minister Murray Re: TTC Proposed Bus Garage

June 19, 2015

 

Honourable Glen Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

11th Floor, Ferguson Block

77 Wellesley Street West

Toronto, Ontario M7A 2T5

 

Dear Minister:

As the Toronto City Councillor representing Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt, I am writing to advise you of the very serious concerns residents have with respect to the proposed Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) McNicoll Bus Garage and the impact it will have on the quality of life of our community.

TTC Bus Garage

The TTC is proposing to build a transit garage to maintain over 200 buses at the northeast corner of Kennedy Road and McNicoll Avenue, adjacent to Mon Sheong Seniors Home.

This will introduce hundreds of buses on our streets and add more unwanted pollution in our area.