Premier Kathleen Wynne says she has asked Ontario’s cannabis stores to go back and consult with school boards after three of the four in communities where initial shops will open say they had no input.
“I have been told that, as far as we know, school boards were not officially consulted, that there was some sort of online process that they could take part in but there hasn’t been an official conversation with school boards,” Wynne told reporters Monday morning.
“So I’ve asked our folks to go back and to determine how to fill that gap, because I think it’s very important that school boards, not just municipalities, because school boards know, for example, where their kids go at lunchtime. They know where they go after school.
“And so it’s very important that school boards are consulted. And so we’re going to make sure that happens,” said Wynne, who began her political career as a trustee with the Toronto District School Board.
The premier said such discussions need to happen in Toronto, where the proposed Gerrard St. E. location is just up the street from an elementary school and a popular lunchtime hangout, “but they need to be part of the conversation wherever this is happening.”
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Last week, the first four outlets were announced — in Toronto, Thunder Bay, Guelph and Kingston. The Thunder Bay school board alone said it had been a part of the decision on location.
A Lakehead school board spokesperson told the Star “it was made very clear throughout the process that we did not support a location that was near a school or where young people frequent,” with the closest elementary just three kilometres away and secondary school more than five.
In Kingston, the outlet