PROFILE PHOTO COURTESY OF KIMBERLEY KUFAAS PHOTOGRAPHY Tyson’s Thoughts is a weekly column posted every Thursday at and in print the following Wednesday. Have some thoughts about my thoughts? email

Tyson’s Thoughts: Port McNeill wants to temporarily ban the sale of cannabis in town

The first reading of the bylaw was passed in roughly under two minutes with next to no discussion.

Let’s talk cannabis.

Or rather, let’s talk how Port McNeill council gave first reading to a bylaw they say will temporarily prohibit the sale of cannabis inside the town’s boundaries until after they form a marijuana committee to help shed some light on the matter.

Port McNeill’s marijuana committee should be formed around August to September and they will deliver their findings to council anywhere from October to December, which just so happens to coincide with the upcoming municipal election. There will also be a public consultation on the matter June 18, which will be held before council’s regular meeting.

Coun. Jay Dixon spoke out at the town’s last council meeting where the bylaw was discussed, stating he doesn’t want the sale of cannabis to become an election issue.

No offence to Jay, I have a lot of respect for the man and think quite highly of him as a person, but if you wait until right in the middle of a municipal election to decide on something, especially a subject as divided as whether to allow the sale of cannabis in town or not, I don’t see how it can’t become an election issue.

I’m still confused as to why they didn’t act on this matter a long time ago. Port Hardy council formed a marijuana committee way back in August of 2017, held a bunch of productive meetings, and then reported to council with their findings. Port Hardy’s cannabis bylaw passed its first reading on May 22, and they are well on their way to having it officially made law before the municipal election.

Jay made a great point at the meeting that Port McNeill doesn’t have to do everything the same way as Port Hardy, which I 100 per cent agree with, but the fact of the matter is they should have had this issue done and dealt with by now.

Instead, it seems like they’ve dragged their feet and put it off as long as they could before deciding, seemingly out of nowhere, to draft a bylaw that will ban business owners from selling cannabis in town, which they say is only temporary.

Now, what do I mean by this bylaw coming from ‘out of nowhere’?

I’ve covered roughly 150 council meetings over my almost three years here at the Gazette. I’ve covered Port Hardy council, Port McNeill council, Port Alice council, and a handful of Regional District and School Board meetings as well. Usually, council has a discussion during an open meeting and then directs staff to look into the issue and report back.

There was no discussion of the sale of cannabis at any Port McNeill council meeting that I have personally attended, which means there was no direction to staff to look into the matter. I asked council where the bylaw originated from and they gave me a legitimate response. To break it down in basic terms, Jay and Mayor Shirley Ackland worked together with staff behind the scenes on the issue.

Coun. Shelley Downey confirmed they have never discussed the bylaw as a group at a council meeting (and have never discussed it as a group outside of a council meeting either), and that councillors were given material to read to keep them up to date. The first reading of the bylaw was passed in roughly under two minutes with next to no discussion, just all the councillors voting unanimously for it (Coun. Aaron Frost was absent from the meeting, so his vote and opinion may never see the light of day).

To be clear, I’m not saying that Port McNeill should allow cannabis to be sold in town. I would actually have no issues with council deciding to ban the sale of cannabis inside their town boundaries forever.

Once it’s legalized, everyone is just going to travel to Port Hardy and spend their money there instead.

Just Posted

Second annual Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce golf tournament

Golf Holes #2 and #6 are Hole-in-One opportunities, each with a cash prize of $25,000!

No taxes paid by Neucel, Doug Bondue Arena in Port Alice closes

“Neucel owes us a million dollars and it’s pretty hard to stay status quo when you’re short a million.”

Dragonboat society requests new location for 80 square foot storage shed in McNeill

“Part of my concern for using lot B is that it could become a parking lot for them…”

Klatt a force on the field – helps Bantam A Tyee’s win provincials

David Klatt played in every game last weekend down in Nanaimo.

Port McNeill releases in-depth Beach Drive landslide report

“It’s very positive,” said the town’s Public Works Foreman Julian Allen.

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Most Read