Justin Trudeau is Canada's new pot dealer - Macleans.ca

Justin Trudeau is Canada’s new pot dealer

Oct. 18: Provincial cannabis sites saw more than 100 orders per minute on day one of legal weed, while Ottawa states it will pardon previous marijuana possession charges (eventually).


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to caucus on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Welcome to a sneak peek of the Maclean’s Politics Insider newsletter. Sign-up at the bottom of the page to get it delivered straight to your inbox.

New Brunswick may have already run afoul of Ottawa’s new cannabis law with its website for selling pot. You see, pot can’t be sold using images of people, and the Cannabis NB site is full of them, writes John Geddes: photogenic young people smiling into a smartphone camera one of them holds at arm’s length, a serene woman holding a yoga pose, and a bearded hipster mulling over something he’s writing. (Maclean’s)

Day one of legal weed in Canada saw companies struggling to keep up with demand. Shopify, the Canadian tech company that runs many of the provincial cannabis websites, said it saw “more than a million visitors, more than 100,000 orders, more than 100 orders per minute.” (Globe and Mail)

My new dealer is the Prime Minister,” says fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, who was first in line at a provincial liquor store on Cape Breton, the only legal place to buy weed there. (Canadian Press)

An estimated 500,000 Canadians have a criminal record for possessing cannabis and the message from the government on dealing with that issue is, “We’re getting to it,” writes Shannon Proudfoot. Wednesday’s joint press conference by several ministers to say that Ottawa will pardon those individuals was less an announcement and more a “save-the-date card for future action.” (Maclean’s)

The instinct of Justin Trudeau’s government to label opponents of its carbon tax as stupid or dim is a bad move, writes Andrew MacDougall. Of course, Stephen Harper could have told him that:

Harper’s “folks” are the people who smell hypocrisy when someone like Trudeau praises action on the environment right before jetting across the country on his Challenger jet for a photo-op to celebrate the go-ahead of a massive liquified natural gas project (which is itself exempt from the carbon tax). And they are further upset when Trudeau then attends a private fundraiser with the wealthy and well-connected before emitting even more GHGs on the way back to Ottawa.

These optics matter, especially when you’re pledging to be virtuous at other people’s expense. No, the business of government shouldn’t stop; Harper’s broader point is that politicians should never forget that their policy choices touch people in very specific ways, and that some groups are more resilient to cost shocks than others. (Maclean’s)

A surtax slapped on imports of U.S. steel and other goods has brought in “significant” revenue, according to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, but he’s not saying how much. Morneau was grilled by members of the parliamentary committee on international trade about whether Ottawa is doing enough to help businesses hit by the tariff fight. Said NDP MP Tracey Ramsey: “From the witnesses at this committee, we’ve heard of the dire consequences of these tariffs and the government’s failure to get that support directly to people on the ground. Businesses are talking about laying off people.” (Canadian Press)

24 Sussex needs a one-time injection of $83 million over 10 years just to bring the official prime minister’s residence (which hasn’t actually had a prime minister living in it since Trudeau opted to live inRideau Cottage instead) up to a liveable condition, says a new report from the National Capital Commission. More would be needed to modernize the home. The report said the buildings on the grounds “have reached the point of imminent or actual failure, and require replacement.” (CBC News)