With the fast-approaching date for the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the city of Montreal released its marijuana action plan Wednesday morning.
Despite much pressure from the opposition, Montreal has left the door open to smoking in public spaces.
Marijuana will be banned in places where tobacco smoking is already prohibited, such as inside public buildings and on public transportation, but the city has stopped short of banning consumption in parks or on sidewalks.
For some, the ban doesn’t go far enough.
WATCH: Oppositon Counc. Lionel Perez critical of Montreal’s marijuana action plan
Opposition Coun. Lionel Perez was critical of Plante’s proposal.
“With one week to go before the legalization of marijuana, we see that there is no plan,” he said. “Accordingly in a number of our boroughs we are in fact going to be putting in place certain restrictions.”
Mayor Valérie Plante countered the decision is in line with provincial guidelines and was made after a lengthy reflection and consultations with various experts.
In a written statement, Dr. Mylène Drouin, the regional director for santé publique de Montreal explained that following the provincial framework made sense from a public health standpoint.
“Banning smoking from all outdoor areas would drive consumers to private indoor locations where the concentration of second-hand smoke could have adverse effects on the health of the occupants,” she said.
The city argued that its action plan takes into consideration that 60 per cent of its population is made up of renters and it sought to treat everyone equitably.
Plante urged other boroughs to follow suit, but for Perez, the fight is far from over.
He says a ban in public parks is a minimum and he is planning to file a motion in his borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce at the next council meeting.
Perez also criticized the city’s consultations with expert committees saying they were held behind closed doors and didn’t involve key players such as Montreal police.
— With files from Global’s Gloria Henriquez
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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