News Release - Ontario's Government for the People Promoting Public Health, Community Safety and Protecting Youth

October 16, 2018
Premier Ford speaks at Ontario Provincial Police Association annual meeting to highlight role of all police in the enforcement of cannabis retail law

THE BLUE MOUNTAINS — Today, Premier Doug Ford delivered remarks at the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Association Annual General Meeting, focusing on law enforcement's role in the protection of public health and safety within the province's tightly regulated private cannabis retail marketplace.

"Our government will never compromise on our commitment to the people of Ontario when it comes to public health, public safety and protecting youth," said Ford.

The Premier expressed concern that the federal government is still unable to provide law enforcement with reliable equipment to test for drug-impaired driving.

"It's been three years since the Prime Minister committed to legal cannabis, yet the federal government cannot give our police a reliable test for drug-impaired driving," said Ford. "I am calling on the federal government to address this critical issue and get our police the tools needed to keep our roads safe."

As a result of federal legislation, recreational cannabis will be legal in the province of Ontario and across Canada on October 17. If passed, through the Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018, the Ontario government would:

Protect Ontario's youth by ensuring that cannabis remains out of the hands of people under the age of 19
Protect Ontario roads and ensure that police enforce a strict prohibition against drug-impaired driving
Combat the illegal market through enforcement against those operating outside the legal regime and by providing consumers with a compelling retail alternative.

"It will be OPP officers and other law enforcement professionals around Ontario who will be helping to protect Ontario's youth, keep our roads safe, and combat organized crime and the illegal market following October 17," said Ford. "We will make sure our brave women and men in law enforcement have all the resources and tools they need to do their job."

Premier Ford highlighted other ways in which Ontario's Government for the People is keeping Ontarians safe and protecting communities, such as an investment of over $182 million to build nine new OPP detachments, and the recent announcement of a massive, historic new investment in Ontario's Public Safety Radio Network, which will completely overhaul how the province's emergency radio system works.

"When it comes to cannabis, we can assure all Ontarians that we've done our homework, we are working closely with our police and other partners and no matter what lies ahead, Ontario will be ready," said Ford. "Thank you to the officers of the OPP and all law enforcement across Ontario for everything you do, every single day, to keep our communities, neighbourhoods and families safe."

Posted on Oct 17, 18 | 11:15 pm