Business View Magazine | May 2019

249 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MAY 2019 CLAR INGTON, ONTAR IO and MediWanna (all licensed producers) and five more applications for new producers coming. In a couple of years, it may quite possibly be our second largest employer. And that business, of course, is absolutely booming.” In January 2019, Clarington Council voted 4-3 to opt in and allow privately- owned cannabis retail stores to operate within its limits. The Municipality has advised the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) of its decision and will be eligible to host, potentially, one of six stores slated to open within the GTA. By opting in, Clarington will receive $86,782 to help with the cost of legalization, including enforcement. The Municipality may also be eligible to receive more money from the Province. Ontario has promised to, potentially, share 50 per cent of the federal cannabis excise tax with municipalities if it receives more than $100 million in the first two years. Initially, 25 stores will be allowed to open in Ontario, and one of the businesses that won the provincial lottery can choose the community as a potential location for its cannabis store. According to Foster, “For whatever reason, the people who were opposed to the stores, were very welcoming of the cannabis industry. And we’ll continue to reach out for opportunities – perhaps, there is a supply side to the business that makes sense to bring to town while we have a number of producers.” Sheila Hall, Executive Director of the Clarington Board of Trade, is aptly referred to by the Mayor as “our economic development guru.” In that role, Hall sees the direct impact of the cannabis industry on the community from a development perspective. “Canopy and MediWanna both repurposed old buildings for their initial operations but, moving forward, most of the facilities will be new builds. They’re clustering in one area and we’re running out of space. They’ve gobbled a lot of it up, quite honestly.” The Mayor adds, “We provided servicing to some lands a couple of years ago, and these guys, basically, took it all. So, the money we put into upfronting the infrastructure has all come back to us in jobs and businesses. Now, we’ll need to look at doing something similar.” In other positive economic news, the Darlington Nuclear plant is in the midst of a $12.8 billion refurbishment. Darlington provides about 20 percent of Ontario’s electricity, so the major overhaul of its four reactors is taking place one at a time, while the other three reactors are running. That means 2,000 extra people showing up for work every day, above and beyond those running the plant, and a significant rise in residential development. With a new 30-acre, Toyota distribution center currently under construction, as well, the employment situation will continue to thrive. Clarington is the largest municipality, geographically, in the Durham Region and agriculture is a big part of the local economy. Algoma Orchards uses state-of-the-art planting systems to grow over 445 hectares (1,100 acres) of apples at their Clarington facility. Mayor Foster boasts, “Fifteen minutes from your front door, you can go berry picking, apple picking, be in a forest, go to the lake fishing, camping at Darlington Provincial Park. Hundreds of Quebecers come to Port Darlington and Bowmanville to