Letter: A 'no' to pot shops in Port Moody

The Editor,

Re. "PoMo cannabis applicants left hanging by council adjournment" (The Tri-City News, Nov. 28).

I was at the public hearing last night in Port Moody dealing with a proposed cannabis retail store in Suter Brook Village.

A major concern is locating this store under one of the condominium buildings. 

Suter Brook and NewPort villages are residential communities, not major thoroughfares. The definition of “sensitive use” areas arose frequently last night. Suter Brook has two plazas where people congregate, eat and children play, and where seasonal events are held. Why are they not considered sensitive areas? The Port Moody Arts Centre is considered a sensitive area — why is this? These plazas are within the 75-metre buffer zone for sensitive areas.

One comment made last night in support of the cannabis store was that parents allowing their children to play in one of the plazas are smoking and drinking while they are there. You cannot drink alcohol in a public area as it is illegal and smoking is done within the confines of city bylaws and provincial laws.

I heard an emergency service person say that after seeing some very “high-stress” things in his work, he has some cannabis after his shift to “set his mind straight” and focus before he goes home. I trust that he does not do this in his workplace and that he does not do it before he drives home.

I felt that the meeting was a politically correct thing that had to be done to appease the residents of Suter Brook, and there was indifference and disdain on the part of some councillors. 

I watched the councillors’ expressions and body language as well as listened to the concerns for and against this store. Councillors should be aware when they are on the stage that they are on stage and act accordingly. A couple of the councillors showed the following through body language and expressions: boredom, annoyance and frustration, which gave the impression that they had predetermined the outcome of this meeting and couldn’t wait for it to be over. 

One gentleman said that there is a store located in a residential unit on West 7th Avenue in Vancouver, I googled it and could not find it. 

However Vancouver has 16 cannabis stores for a population of 679,000 which is 42,000 people per store.

Port Moody has a population of 36,000, which means that only one store is necessary for its population, not four, including the one that is proposed in Suter Brook.

Gillian Harney, Port Moody

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