If you need any more proof that the Quebec Liberals are arrogant and lazy — to the point of discrimination — take a look at the latest statements by health minister Lucie Charlebois on Tuesday.
She told a reporter that despite the fact the recreational cannabis bill was passed in the federal House of Commons on Monday, she will ask Ottawa to delay its July 1 target date for legalization because Quebec needs more time to prepare.
The province has already declared that it will only open 15 outlets to sell pot and they won’t allow people to grow it at home, even though federal law will permit it. And some Quebec Liberals and members of other parties have said they don’t really want to see it legalized at all — and that it is just, oh so much bother and work for them to prepare. And heaven forbid, police have only had five decades to figure out how people are driving under the influence of cannabis — they need more time!
The federal bill still has to be passed by the unelected Senate — which many Canadians feel is a complete waste of taxpayer money — and it’s not a stretch of the imagination to think that some Quebec politicians are hoping the Senate holds up the bill, if not derails it completely. While some members of the Senate are considered to be “independents,” several are Conservatives who are traditionally opposed to equal rights for many groups who they feel don’t follow fundamentalist views, i.e. trans people, gay people — and pot smokers.
And that really is what Justin Trudeau’s cannabis bill is all about: giving pot smokers equal civil rights, and taking sales out of the hands of organized crime, regulating it, ensuring its quality, and actually putting some tax dollars in public coffers.
The fact that pot — classified as an herb until the U.S. government changed its designation, but an herb no less — was ever made illegal and that its legal use was suppressed by governments and people were oppressed for using it is a huge injustice. And the fact that Quebec politicians and various Conservative politicians at the federal level still want to carry on that injustice — whether for an extended period of time or permanently — is abominable.
Indeed, many voters feel the Quebec Liberal party has become an abomination — see bailout for Bombardier — and it is little wonder that the Liberals are trailing in the election polls and probably won’t be in office after October 2018. But those who will replace them are cut from the same cloth: they’re old farts who would rather see the status quo, and continue to discriminate against pot users.
It is clear now that Quebec needs new options in those who govern our affairs. We need younger, more progressive people at the helm, as we see in Ottawa and now at the municipal level in Montreal. None of the big three provincial parties in Quebec are grounded in the year 2017. They are old guard who feel they have the right to dictate who should have equal rights and who shouldn’t.
Never has there been a better time for a new Quebec party to form.
Photo by Aleks on Wikimedia Commons