Letter - Illegal Smoke Shops

The Regional

July 13, 2009

Dear Mayor Trainer:

I would like to express my appreciation that Haldimand County has taken steps against the illegal smoke shop on Ernie Palmer's property. This is encouraging to the residents of Caledonia. Haldimand County is starting to stand behind their bylaws.

I would also like to point out that Mr. Palmer is just an average person - a retired farmer - caught in the middle of a greater problem. To my knowledge Haldimand County has not been willing to enforce their bylaws when it comes to the property owner of DCE,  the McGuinty Government, or the property owners where the other smoke shops have been operating for the past 2 years.

Can you provide me with the dates when Haldimand County issued fines against the property owners where the other smoke shops are located? This means that there should be fines against Six Nation's Band Council and Hydro One.

Furthermore, can you provide me with a list of fines that Haldimand County issued against the McGuinty Government for the endless violations of bylaws that have occurred over the past 3 years?

What I am asking is whether Haldimand County is willing to go after the bigger fish that have allowed smoke shops on their properties for over 2 years?

Haldimand County didn't spend a year negotiating with Mr. Palmer to have the smoke shop removed. I am wondering when the County will enforce the bylaw(s) against the other property owners. I believe the lack of action by Haldimand County has emboldened these smoke shop owners.

Doug Fleming

Caledonia Peacekeepers