Eli Ridder | Report

Brampton City Councillor Charmaine Williams, who represents eastern Wards 7 and 8, is targeting private retail cannabis stores across the city with a campaign backed by a contentious poll.

Mrs. Williams, the first black woman on City Council, was elected as a first-time candidate on Oct. 22, and ran on a platform of an anti-gun violence, neighbourhood safety and considered banning cannabis stores.

In a post on Facebook, Williams said her poll with a sample size of 932 found that 70 per cent of residents did not want any retail sales in Brampton, but did not specify the parameters such as age or ethnicity.

The rest of those in the poll said they “would support retail sales if there were a 500 metre distance from schools and strict restrictions”, however, Williams did not reveal whether there were more than two options.

The councillor said her opinion poll was conducted on Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and that she held a community meeting on Oct. 29 and “spoke directly with five to six thousand residents during the campaign”.

Williams says that she will move a motion to “opt out” of retail sales, an option open to municipalities to not have physical cannabis retail stores in their communities, but must inform the province before Jan. 22 next year.

However, the majority of  followers on her Facebook page were not receptive to her proposal for a total ban.

All of the top comments with the most positive reactions were supporters that questioned her stance, pointing out that “it will create jobs and keep dealers at arms length from those retail stores.”

The Avro Post has reached out for comment from Charmaine Williams via her City Council email to inquire for more details from the poll she conducted and for a response to rattled supporters. 

Image of Charmaine Williams from her Facebook page.

Written by Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a freelance journalist. He founded The Avro Post in October 2017. He writes for Breaking911 and Guelph Politico, among others. Feel free to connect at ELIRIDDER@ICLOUD.COM or at ELIRIDDER.CA

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