The reaction from residents that attended the public meeting Thursday was overwhelmingly positive.

The CEO of Aero Pon Leaf Canada William Sharpe began the meeting by outlining who will be a part of the team. Andrew Brandt, who was the Chair and CEO of the LCBO for 15 years, is one of the highlights of the team of eight. Also on the team is Zena Prokosh, who attended and spoke at the meeting, Paul Thorne who worked as the head of security at the Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto for 16 years and Chris Alexander, who was the Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan before becoming the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Sharpe’s background is in the alcohol industry. He previously founded Lakeport Brewery and owned Pacific Western Brewing Company. “The two industries are similar,” Sharpe said of the alcohol and cannabis industries.

“We’re hoping we’ll fit into the neighbourhood and be good corporate citizens,” Sharpe said and reiterated throughout the meeting. He said it will important to do this the right way, which will involve the community’s input.

The most talked about question of the night was about employment. “First and foremost is to work with the community,” Sharpe stated. While the amount of jobs that will be created is unknown, Sharpe says keeping jobs local will be important. He mentioned that two locals have already been hired to help him with the initial process.

Sharpe said they expect to get their license in October or November after applying for it in June 2018. He noted there’s a backlog of “over 2,000” waiting to be licensed. “It does take a considerable amount of time,” he said.

If you have any questions or comments, you’re being asked to send them to aeroponleaf@gmail.com. Sharpe said it will be a priority to keep the community updated and informed on the process as it continues to evolve.

William Sharpe will sit-down with the Moose FM news team for an in-depth interview on the purchase of the former G.P. Flakeboard Plant today.

Written by: Mathew Reisler