Scheer won't commit to keeping cannabis legal if Tories form government
Rachel Gilmore, Power Play producer
Published Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:11PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 19, 2018 9:51AM EDT
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer isn’t promising to keep cannabis legal if his party wins the 2019 election.
Instead, he said they’ll scrutinize the rollout of legal pot and go from there.
“The Conservative Party will do our due diligence, examine the consequences of this decision, and we’ll examine the reality on the ground,” he told Don Martin on CTV Power Play Thursday.
“We have to be realistic about what a change like this means for society and all the ramifications.”
Scheer has been critical of the rollout of legal cannabis. He said yesterday that the government “rushed” legalization in order to meet an “artificial political deadline.”
He also pointed to concerns among health experts about the minimum age for consumption and the uncertainty around roadside testing for cannabis-related impairment.
The Conservatives almost universally either abstained from voting or voted against the cannabis legalization bill, Bill C-45, at third reading in the House. Just one Tory MP supported the bill: Ontario MP Scott Reid.
The Conservative leader was among those who voted against legalization -- despite having admitted to smoking cannabis when he was young. He made the admission in an interview with Radio-Canada's "Tout le Monde en Parle."
Scheer isn’t the only Tory keeping mum about the future of Canadian cannabis under a Conservative government.
Conservative Health Critic Marilyn Gladu wouldn’t say whether the Tories plan to put the toothpaste back in the tube when it comes to pot legalization. When asked whether pot legalization was already at the point of no return, she wouldn’t provide a firm answer and instead focused on public wellbeing.
“The Conservative government will take an action plan to protect public safety,” she told Don Martin on CTV Power Play Wednesday.
Despite pushback from the Tories, the Liberals are touting pot legalization as a success.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the move has been “broadly supported” by Canadians -- a claim that was beefed up by the massive lines and supply shortages at legal retail stores on Wednesday.
With files from Rachel Aiello