Could it be the great cannabis compromise of 2019?

According to Brownsburg-Chatham municipal Director-General Hervé Rivet, discussions have had positive results in addressing resident concerns about plans for a new medical cannabis production facility near St-Philippe.

AAA Trichomes wants to build the facility, but nearby residents have opposed it, mostly over concerns involving possible odours and security around the facility.

Council had suspended the resolution to change the zoning so that the town could have joint discussions with the residents and AAA Trichomes.  The municipality has been eager to address the concerns because it is eager to attract the new industry.

A notice of motion was introduced at the July 2 council meeting that will lead to zoning changes being approved at the August council meeting that will make the project possible.  AAA Trichomes will have to ensure that it uses carbon filters for emission and odour control, and the plant must be 1.26 kilometres from urban areas and the Ottawa River.

During the question period at the council meeting, citizens who had previously opposed the development plan congratulated the town for its efforts at reaching a compromise.

Rivet said the town took the sensitive areas around homes, urban development, and the proximity to the river into consideration during a series of consultations with the company and residents.

“Sometimes it’s good to stop and listen,” Rivet said.

Mayor’s investigation

Rivet said an out-of-court agreement has likely been reached involving violations of the municipal code of ethics that Mayor Catherine Trickey was cited for in March by Québec’s municipal oversight agency.

The violations in Trickey’s citation by the Commission Municipal du Québec (CMQ) included approving legal costs without council’s consent in 2016 and failing to declare a conflict of interest involving those costs at a council meeting, convening a special council meeting in January 2018 to terminate the employment of the former Director-General before the end of his contract, and for disclosing confidential information to a Lachute newspaper reporter in March, 2018.

In her opening declarations at the July 2 council meeting, Trickey said she defended her actions as being in the best interest of the municipality and its citizens.

CMQ hearings into Trickey’s case took place on June 25 and 26 in St-Jérôme.

Rivet said the presiding commissioner will be reviewing the case in late July before making a final decision on the out-of-court agreement.