OUR VIEW: Time is not on their side

The Town of Sidney is busy. There’s no question about it.

Let’s start by being as fair as possible.

The Town of Sidney is busy. There’s no question about it.

Start with the pace of development going on right now and throw in a variety of high-profile, high-angst projects and one can imagine local politicians and municipal staff pulled this way and that.

The latest kerfuffle? Why, the SHOAL Centre just isn’t big enough to accommodate a meeting on the proposed Gateway retail site. It apparently doesn’t matter that larger venues are already booked. And that’s not the real issue anyway — those opposed to Gateway would like to see the meeting moved or rescheduled as a result, thereby delaying the further advancement of the project. They are looking for an advantage and, after all, all’s fair in love and war.

That’s not the issue being discussed here, however.

Sidney voted Monday to repeal the Dispensary by the Sea’s business license. It was interesting to see how quickly the councillors who had fought against an outright pulling of the license, flipped, seemingly based on the assertion that Sidney is just too busy this year.

They’ll wait to address cannabis dispensaries until their strategic planning session (which typically occurs once a year) — and perhaps by then the federal government will have changed the country’s medicinal marijuana access laws.

That’s a decision that could have been made close to a month ago. Instead, the operators of the Dispensary were left in limbo, wondering if the Town might consider changes that would allow them to keep operating, such as has been done in Victoria.

Again, in fairness, the Dispensary was technically operating outside of existing laws on distribution of medicinal marijuana. They’d argue, of course, the Supreme Court of Canada says otherwise, putting them in the right.

As these cannabis product dispensaries pop up all over the place, municipalities will eventually have to deal with them. If laws change, so will local bylaws. Sidney currently does not have dispensaries as part of their existing building license bylaw.

If laws don’t change, or take a direction that’s unexpected at best, municipalities will still have to deal with dispensaries — and in that case, Sidney is right on target.

It doesn’t seem like that will hold the course, however. And Sidney could very well run out of time to manage the issue and will face it all again should cannabis storefronts become the norm.

Just Posted

Lawyer for Saanich’s homeless camp questions offer by Saanich Police

John Heaney says breaking up camp puts people at risk because it seperates them from support

Plastic bags to be banned in Saanich by June 2020

Council approved the timeline that clears a path for Saanich to follow Victoria’s ban of single-use plastic bags

Rainbow crosswalk, safer places for LGBTQ people in Sidney

Correction: The crosswalk will be located near Beacon Park, and will not… Continue reading

Elderly man in hospital after struck by car in Oak Bay

The incident happened Monday evening on Cadboro Bay Road

Musicians take note at Victoria music industry conference

Rifflandia Gathering brings together emerging artists and industry professionals

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Tilray to export cannabis formulation to U.S. for clinical trial

Marijuana remains illegal in most of the U.S.

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, said Chief Joe Alphonse

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

VIDEO: B.C. tour offers unique underground glimpse of generating station

About 1,250 people expected at sold-out tour on Sunday

Most Read