Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pot, Power and Unreliable Growth: How Federal Politics Touched Us This Week

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pot, Power and Unreliable Growth: How Federal Politics Touched Us This Week

Article excerpt

Three ways politics touched us this week

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OTTAWA - She inspired. She joked. She drew tears to their eyes.

Malala Yousafzai, the passionate 19-year-old who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan five years ago, brought Canadian politicians from both sides of the aisle to their feet -- even as she provoked them, eye to eye, to do so much more for the education of girls around the world.

The granting of honorary Canadian citizenship to the young Nobel prize winner on Wednesday reminded MPs why they chose to run for office, prompting corridor conversations about their common goals.

Malala was a momentary respite. The ground shifted in federal politics this week, first with a quick and dramatic reshaping of global power in the wake of the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airfield, and then at a domestic level when the Liberals introduced legislation to make marijuana legal.

At the same time, the Bank of Canada sent mixed signals about the stability of the Canadian economy, raising the alarm about real estate speculation.

Here's how politics touched Canadians this week:

POT

The Liberals were on a mission Thursday to tone down the light-hearted party rhetoric that so often accompanies talk of legalizing marijuana, introducing a rule-heavy regime that they say is meant to keep the drug away from children, eliminate the black market and dissuade organized crime.

Before legal pot becomes a reality, the pair of contentious government bills will take well over a year to claw their way through the House of Commons and Senate; and the federal government will need to navigate negotiations with the provinces and law enforcement across Canada.

Eventually, sales would be restricted to those over 18 years -- or older, if provincial governments exercise discretion. Adults would be able to carry 30 grams at a time, and grow four plants not more than a metre tall. No edibles quite yet, and exuberant advertising would be verboten.

The bills determine thresholds for police to check for impaired driving -- not just for drugs but alcohol too. The legislation makes it easier for police to demand a breathalyzer. …

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