Thanks very much, Bill.
As you may know, FCM's 2,000 member municipalities represent 90% of Canadians in every region, province, and territory, big cities, rural towns, northern and remote areas. Our communities are where people live, work, and raise their families. Often when federal plans move forward, this is where the rubber hits the road.
Clearly, it is in our communities that cannabis will be sold and consumed. As a result, municipal governments will be at the forefront of regulation when it comes into effect across Canada. FCM members are already your eyes and ears. We know how the regulation of cannabis, both medicinal and illegal, is applied in a market that is evolving rapidly. We know how change can improve or disrupt cities and communities across Canada. Canadians need some local expertise to help shape the regime relating to recreational cannabis.
Locally, implementing this new regime will be a monumental task, one that is heavily dependent on future action of the federal, provincial and territorial governments. This is another good reason to ensure that the municipalities will participate in this process and will therefore know what is expected of them.
In my 20-plus years at FCM, I've seen it time and again. When the federal government systematically engages with local governments, Canadians win. It's true for infrastructure, economic growth, public safety, and it will be true for recreational cannabis. It's important to understand that FCM is ready and a willing partner in moving forward safely and effectively.
I now would like to turn it back to Vice-President Karsten to talk about our specific recommendations.