Ontario-based politician and rural activist MPP Randy Hillier has issued the following statement in an email. It's important to read from start to finish to understand the effect that Bill 174 will have on the vaping community.
"With the introduction of the Ontario Liberal government’s marijuana retail legislation, this government has triggered a heavy crackdown on the vaping community and introduced further prohibitions on tobacco harm reduction products.
I need help from you and the vape community in demanding that the government separate these new prohibitions from Bill 174 so that they can be debated and voted on honestly.
Under schedule 3 of Bill 174 - Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017, vape shops will be prohibited from displaying vape devices, components or juices, allowing their customers to handle vape products, or test flavours before purchase. This bill places further restrictions on areas of use, and where exemptions are made, those using vape products are forced to share spaces with those using traditional tobacco products.
Schedule 3 of this bill also introduces a mechanism for the government to prohibit the sale of certain flavours of vape products through regulation. Regulations do not come before the Legislature for debate and may be made at will by the government. Given this governments penchant to ban flavoured tobacco products I would not be surprised to see flavours described as “kid friendly”, such as Cotton Candy, Rice Crispies and Gummi Bears as well as other ordinary flavours such as vanilla, chocolate, grape or other fruit flavours, be swiftly prohibited shortly after this bill is passed.
It is unacceptable to me that they would incorporate further prohibitions on tobacco harm reduction products in the same piece of legislation meant to enact the legal retail and distribution of cannabis.
It is imperative that Schedule 3 of the act be separated from the bill and the merits of the additional prohibition and restrictions on vape products be debated and voted on separate from those enacting the legal sale and distribution of cannabis.
As you may be aware, the framework for the legal sale and distribution of cannabis must be in place by July 1st meaning that this bill is most likely to be adopted. Therefore it is up to us to speak out and make sure schedule 3 is separated from the bill.
The vape community needs to come together and tell the government we want Schedule 3 of Bill 174 separated!
I encourage everyone to write to the Premier, Attorney General, Minister of Health, Minister of Transport and the House Leaders of each party, whose contact information you can find below, voicing your support for the separation of Schedule 3 from the bill so that it can be debated and voted on independently.
Share this email with your friends, families and local vape shops so that we can have the greatest sum of our voices heard!
MPP Randy Hillier"
Here are the contact details for each of the individuals mentioned above, available to you!
Minister of Transportation – Steven Del Duca
Ministry of Transportation
3rd Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z8
PC House Leader – Jim Wilson
Room 241, North Wing, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A8
Third Party House Leader – Giles Bisson
Room 112, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5