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Push toward privatization of cannabis sales will hurt the people of Ontario, says OFL

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TORONTO, July 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ford government's reported move to privatizing the sale of cannabis can only hurt Ontarians.

"Time and time again we have seen profitable publicly-owned businesses put into private hands with negative results. The private sale of cannabis will only reduce the potential revenue government can use to provide services to Ontarians. It will put more people at risk by reducing direct government oversight on the sale and consumption of cannabis," said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. "There is no question about it. The sale of cannabis should be monitored and only occur where proper oversight can be assured."

The push to privatize alcohol and cannabis sales ignores research that shows public safety and community infrastructure are improved by public ownership.

"If any retailer can sell cannabis, the province loses a valuable opportunity to provide important health information to Ontarians and control sales to minors," added Buckley. "Our government must ensure the people of Ontario that the sale of cannabis will be undertaken responsibly, and the best way to ensure that is through a publicly owned operation."

The OFL has long fought against the privatization of public sector assets that provide decent, unionized jobs to Ontarians, income for public infrastructure projects, and strong regulation.

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information contact:

Meagan Perry
Director of Communications,
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456         

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