A national coalition launched Nov. 30 is vowing to fight for safe and healthier neighbourhoods by advocating to prevent, detect and deter criminal acts related to marijuana grow ops and clandestine labs.

“I have been honoured to work with the RCMP in Ottawa on this new national body to address this serious issue of organized crime infiltrating our neighbourhoods across the country,” said Calgary alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart whom the RCMP asked to help organize a summit for the body. “Collectively, we will form the National Council Against Marijuana Grow Operations and Clandestine Laboratories.”

The council is comprised of community- based representatives from a variety of industry and government sectors including municipalities and real estate, with a determined interested in making communities safer.

“The new National Council is a great example of the type of partnerships we need in the fight against marijuana grow ops and clandestine labs and the organized crime elements that support them,” said Vic Toews, Public Safety Minister. “By working together, we can better address the threat these operations pose to the safety and security of our communities.”

The council will provide leadership and guidance aimed at reducing the negative social, environmental and economic impacts associated with marijuana grow ops and clandestine labs.