VERDUN, Que. — The NDP needs to run negative ads against the Liberal party during the next federal election, party leader Thomas Mulcair told The Huffington Post Canada.
In a lengthy interview to kick off the NDP’s caucus meeting in Saskatoon Monday, Mulcair said it is one of the lessons learned from the British Columbia election in which NDP Leader Adrian Dix blew a healthy lead in the polls and lost the race.
The challenge for the NDP is to show Canadians who are yearning for change that the Liberals cannot be trusted to govern on the left, and to highlight the experience gap between him and the Liberal leader, Mulcair said.
Part of the B.C. NDP’s problem, Mulcair said, was an early decision to run an exclusively positive campaign. “Anytime they talked about their adversary, they were told, well, you’re not being positive,” he said.
“There is a big difference in saying you’re not going to attack somebody personally and saying that you are not going to have a robust debate about the differences between your policy and the history of the other party,” Mulcair said.
The party needs to draw people in by saying why they should vote NDP, but also why they shouldn’t vote for the other person, Mulcair added. Although, he didn’t say when any federal NDP ads would run.
New Democrats don’t have a history of using attack ads, Mulcair said, and there has been no discussion of doing ads similar to the ones the Conservative Party ran against him after he was elected leader or the personal attacks on Trudeau.
But Mulcair said he sees nothing wrong with an ad reminding Canadians that the Liberals are a party of broken promises.
“You can go to the Parliamentary library, get yourself a copy of the Red Book (the Liberal party’s platform in 1993), read the part that says (they would scrap the GST) and then you can play the tape of (Jean) Chrétien laughing when he says you didn’t really believe us, did you? And that’s part of the debate in the next campaign,” Mulcair said.
“You want change? Well, this time you will be able to vote for the change you want and actually get it by voting NDP.”
The next two years, are about communicating to Canadians that they have choice, Mulcair said. They don’t have to stick with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and they don’t have to return to the Liberals, “who have always mastered the art of telling people what they want to hear and then doing whatever they wanted.”
The Liberals promised action to address First Nations issues and universal day care; they did neither, Mulcair said. They signed the Kyoto protocol as a public relations exercise, never intending to do anything about it, he added.
WON’T SAY TRUDEAU’S NAME
Although Mulcair will not say the words “Justin Trudeau” — he refuses to refer to the Liberal leader by his full name, only occasionally, Mr. Trudeau, and more frequently, the Liberal leader — it is clear during a two-and-a-half-hour conversation that he is focused on the opponent he will not name.
“You might have noticed I’ve never mentioned him,” Mulcair said. “I’m talking about the Liberal party as a structure and the past being a predictor of the future, they have always behaved that way historically. I don’t see any change in the people who are making the decisions in the Liberal party or what they are doing.”
Politics is about accumulating information, otherwise you’re relying on others to relay their experience to you, Mulcair said. “That’s why experience helps,” he added, referring to his three decades of work as a lawyer, civil servant, and provincial cabinet minister versus Trudeau’s five years of teaching and another five in Parliament.
“I’ve been at this for quite a while,” Mulcair said.
Mulcair has no trouble saying something positive about Stephen Harper — “very strong, determined and structured and very hard working,” but he will not, or cannot, say anything positive about his Liberal opponent.
“I honestly don’t know much about Mr. Trudeau; I’ve never worked with the guy. I mean he’s shown up in the House very infrequently. When I’ve heard his speeches they have not been memorable,” he said.
“There is not much to refer to in what he’s actually done in his career, and one of the things that does surprise me about him is a lot of people refer to him as being very young, but he’s going to be 44 at the next election, I don’t think that … ” Mulcair said, then he stopped speaking, as if admitting he pays more attention to Trudeau than he wishes to acknowledge. (Trudeau will actually be 43 at the next election if held in the fall of 2015 as expected).
“Right now, he’s what 41 or 42? I don’t know his age either,” Mulcair continued. “It depends on what you’ve done in your life. I have 35 years of public administration experience, and, when I was his age, I had already been elected to the National Assembly after spending six years as part of the Office des professions du Québec and having worked as an attorney in the Quebec justice department, so we all have different backgrounds and experiences. I also come from a family of 10 children. Nobody gave me anything, and everything I’ve had I’ve had to work for myself. And so, we are very different in that regard as well.”
REVERSING A SLUMP IN THE POLLS
Since Trudeau became leader, the Liberals have lead public opinion polls. The Grits rank first in nearly every region of the country, including Quebec, where the NDP holds 57 of the party's 100 seats. Despite widespread praise for his performance in the Commons this spring, Mulcair has not been able to reverse the Liberal momentum.
He tries to put a positive spin on that, noting that the NDP is above historical levels in the polls. And the polls, he said, are good in Quebec.
“Don’t forget. These are the same polling companies that, in 2011, said that the NDP was in fourth place. And even in Quebec, we were in fourth place, according to the same polling company. So I always take it with a grain of salt and know that I have a job to do.”
Mulcair predicts that the 2015 election will be “an epic battle” between two visions of the country: a neo-conservative approach favouring a restricted role for the state and a more interventionist strategy, in which services to the public are the last thing on the chopping board.
The NDP will focus making concrete promises that can be easily measured and contrasted with the Liberals’ failed promises.
“What we are proposing to do is actually make life more affordable,” Mulcair said.
An NDP government would require that credit cards be offered “at a reasonable rate,” he said. It would increase federal funding for post-secondary education, First Nations schooling and work with the provinces to set up universal day care and pharmacare programs, and hold semi-annual meetings with the provinces and territories to ensure the promises are fulfilled.
PLANNING THE 2015 ELECTION
The NDP leader knows what he needs to do to form a government and is already starting to pave the way.
The challenge for the next two years, Mulcair said, includes ensuring that the NDP has a strong ground game in each of the ridings. His MPs are doing a magnificent job and he couldn’t be happier, he said. Membership is up, the riding associations are strong, his MPs are fundraising. The party is already preparing its platform.
Mulcair said another challenge is to show in Parliament that the NDP is the only party capable of forming a government. To do that, he will showcase his strongest MPs, naming David Christopherson, Libby Davies and Megan Leslie.
He wants Canadians to feel not only that the NDP is a party of principle but that it can be trusted to manage affairs of state.
The NDP, for most of its history, has been seen as the conscience of Canada in Parliament, Mulcair said. Now, he wants Canadians to see it as a credible alternative.
“We want people to have confidence in our ability to provide good, competent public administration, which might be the world’s most boring election slogan, but it is communicating that … the type of change that we are talking about can’t appear to be more shocks to the system,” Mulcair said.
Communicating the idea of making polluters pay a price for polluting is part of that challenge.
But people will get it, Mulcair said. Sustainable development legislation would allow Canada to continue with the “extraction industries,” but it would also ensure that future generations aren’t left to clean up the mess.
While he has moved the NDP somewhat to the centre this spring by supporting a free trade agreement with Jordan, he is opposed to a trade deal with China and opposed the sale of Nexen to China. He said that, unlike the Liberal leader, he won’t sign commercial agreements with countries that have no rule of law, and no labour or environmental protections.
Despite all the Liberal talk, Mulcair said, he considers his opponent in 2015 to be Stephen Harper. Although his goal is a majority, he said, he would work with any willing party if he wins only a minority government.
It’s too early to tell what the ballot question will be, Mulcair insisted, but he is convinced voters will be tired of Harper’s Conservatives. The NDP and the Liberals are expected to toy with the theme of change. From the NDP, change you can trust, focused on leadership and experience, perhaps. It’s already a slogan the NDP used during its spring convention in Montreal.
“I think it’s about leadership. I think it’s about experience. …I believe that we’ve been showing strong leadership, and experience is palpable and it is a measurable thing. You can read it and say well that’s a type of experience that I want or that type, but I think that it’s a measurable thing. It’s not a question of opinion,” Mulcair said.
Also on HuffPost:
Harper's summer break began on a sombre note with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/21/alberta-flooding-stephen-harper_n_3481375.html" target="_blank">a visit to Calgary</a> on June 21 to assess the damage caused by floods sweeping across southern Alberta. "I've seen a little bit of flooding in Calgary before," he said. "I don't think any of us have seen anything like this." A photo captured the prime minister looking down at the flooded landscape from his helicopter. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/12/conservative-convention-halloween_n_3588641.html" target="_blank">The flooding prompted Tories to postpone a party convention planned for June 27 in Calgary until October 31.</a>
So, About That Jacket..
Harper’s decision to wear a green military flight jacket to survey the damage proved to be somewhat controversial, with more than a few taking to Twitter to lambaste the prime minister for trying to look the part of a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/24/harper-military-jacket-alberta-troops_n_3491629.html" target="_blank">U.S. president or action hero</a>. But Harper’s press secretary explained to HuffPost that the jacket was given to prime minister by the helicopter crew in 2011 while he toured the flood devastation in Manitoba. "He was wearing it as a tribute to the military assisting the people in difficult times," Carl Vallée wrote in an email.
Trudeau Shows Pride
Trudeau made a splash by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/30/toronto-pride-parade_n_3524106.html" target="_blank">marching in Canada’s largest gay pride parade</a> in Toronto. The Liberal leader also took part in Montreal's festivities. "It's my first time [at the event] in Toronto, I've celebrated many times in Montreal, but the energy here is just astounding. It's wonderful to see such celebration, such positivity and such pride," said Trudeau.
And Mulcair Too!
The NDP leader cut loose at gay pride parades in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver this summer. "There's still a lot of discrimination against the community and it's important to show that diversity is something to be respected," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/30/toronto-pride-parade_n_3524106.html" target="_blank">Mulcair said in Toronto.</a> Harper did not participate.
Don't Call It A Comeback
Trudeau, who made a name for himself by<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/31/trudeau-brazeau-boxing-justin-patrick_n_1394122.html" target="_blank"> defeating controversial Sen. Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match</a> in 2012, returned to the ring during a stop in Regina in July.
As usual, all three leaders descended on Calgary for the annual Stampede.
Not All Fun And Games
Harper <a href="http://on.aol.ca/video/stephen-harper-prouder-than-ever-to-be-an-albertan-517846923" target="_blank">opened up at his annual Stampede barbecue</a> about how he was "prouder than ever" to be an Albertan in the wake of the flooding. "I have served as prime minister of Canada for over seven years now and I have to admit that the strength I've seen in Albertans the past few weeks, the resilience, the kindness also of Canadians everywhere, I have to tell you I have found myself very, very deeply touched."
No Time For Partisan Politics
Mulcair took a softer approach during his Stampede visit,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/06/calgary-stampede-partisan-politics-flooding_n_3555087.html" target="_blank"> staying away from partisan jabs</a> against Conservatives. "I honestly do believe the federal government is doing everything it can," Mulcair said. "They'll have our full support. There are times when we will talk partisan politics. This isn't one of them."
Trudeau cozied up to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/naheed-nenshi/" target="_blank">Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi</a> during the Stampede. Nenshi's tireless efforts after the floods made him arguably the most popular politician in the country this summer.
And of course, the new Liberal leader flipped some pancakes.
Harper and his wife made sure to help with flood clean-up in High River, Alberta, and to share photos online. "Had a great afternoon in High River lending a hand," Harper wrote on <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmharper/9220169384/" target="_blank">his official Flickr account</a>.
Men At Work
Not to be outdone, the Liberal leader also <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/354079855920414723/photo/1" target="_blank">posted photos of his High River volunteer work to Twitter</a>. "Great afternoon of hard work in High River. Amazing, resilient people. #MissionPossible2," Trudeau wrote.
While in Alberta, Harper found time to plan a surprise party for his wife's 50th birthday. <a href="Threw a surprise party for @laureen_harper_ on her 50th birthday. Here's the moment of surprise." target="_blank">The PM posted a photo capturing "the moment of surprise" to Flickr. </a>
Tragedy In Lac-Megantic
Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau all visited Lac-Megantic in the first week of July after a rail disaster devastated the small Quebec town. <a href="http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/death-toll-in-lac-megantic-disaster-now-set-at-47-1.1374099" target="_blank">The official death toll for the disaster was set at 47.</a>
Did I Speak Too Soon?
Mulcair sparked controversy after <a href="http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/mulcair-slams-harper-over-lac-megantic-1.1356485#ixzz2YSeTnYTt" target="_blank">suggesting to CTV News</a> that Tory policies directly contributed to the Lac-Megantic explosion. "Governments have to regulate in the public interest. Nothing more important in what governments do than taking care of the safety of the public. And this is another case where the government has been cutting in the wrong area,” he said. Former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae accused Mulcair of sinking to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/08/lac-megantic-thomas-mulcair_n_3561321.html" target="_blank">"a new low."</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/10/thomas-mulcair-lac-megant_n_3575840.html" target="_blank">Mulcair later denied linking the disaster with Tory budget cuts.</a> "I've been prudent not to draw the exact link," he said.
With other leaders on the barbecue circuit, Mulcair took off in early July ... to France. The NDP leader met with the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, the leader of the Socialist Party and other officials to <a href="http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/07/11/kelly-mcparland-mulcair-falls-flat-in-effort-to-look-prime-ministerial/" target="_blank">discuss trade and the economy.</a> Pundits suggested Mulcair, who holds dual French and Canadian citizenship, was attempting to beef up his international stature and appear prime ministerial.
Did Somebody Say Cabinet Shuffle?
As expected, the prime minister brought some fresh faces into cabinet with a shuffle in mid-July. Harper <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/15/harper-tweets-cabinet-shuffle-twitter_n_3598565.html" target="_blank">tweeted the names of his ministers</a> before the formal swearing-in at Rideau Hall in just his latest bid to improve his social media presence. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/15/cabinet-shuffle-2013-interesting-moves_n_3600444.html" target="_blank">Among the 10 most interesting moves?</a> James Moores' promotion to Industy, Jason Kenney's move to Employment and Social Development and the promotion of Chris Alexander to Immigration and Shelly Glover to Heritage. Harper's team for 2015 is now set.
Trudeau, his wife Sophie Grégoire and their children spent a good chunk of time in battleground British Columbia this summer. Intimate photos, like this one of the couple driving an RV through the B.C. interior, made a splash on social media.
Remembering A Fallen Brother
Trudeau and his family hiked to Kokanee Lake, B.C., where his younger brother, Michel, was killed in a 1998 avalanche.
Oh, And This Happened..
"I see my friend waving a sign about decriminalizing cannabis. I’ll take that as a question," Trudeau said to a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/24/justin-trudeau-marijuana-legal_n_3645624.html" target="_blank">group of prospective B.C. voters</a>. "I’m actually not in favour of decriminalizing cannabis – I’m in favour of legalizing it. Tax and regulate. It’s one of the only ways to keep it out of the hands of our kids because the current war on drugs, the current model isn’t working."
Harper Goes North
Harper made his eighth annual tour of Canada's north in August. The prime minister thrilled kids in Hay River, Northwest Territories by inviting them to pose for a photo on the tailgate of a Hercules aircraft.
Harper did his best Putin impression by shooting a .303 Lee Enfield rifle while taking part in a demonstration from Canadian Rangers in Nunavut.
But He Also Camped..
And Enjoyed Music..
And Went Hiking..
And Took Romantic Photos..
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmharper/" target="_blank">From Harper's Flickr account:</a> "PM Harper and his wife, Laureen, pause for a photo at Alexandra Falls in the Northwest Territories."
And Announced He Wants Parliament Prorogued..
Harper said in Whitehorse on Aug. 19 that he intended to pull the plug on a tumultuous session of Parliament and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/19/harper-prorogue_n_3780873.html" target="_blank">start fresh with a throne speech in the fall.</a>. The PM's decision came amid fresh revelations in the Senate expense scandal/ "Obviously, the House will be prorogued in anticipation of that. We will come back — October is our tentative timing — and we will obviously have some unfulfilled commitments that we will continue to work on," he said. Mulcair wasted no time suggesting the PM was running scared. "People aren't going to be fooled," Mulcair said in a statement. "This is clearly a desperate government worn out by ethical scandals and mismanagement."
And Confirmed He's IN For The Next Election
Harper put to rest rumours he could pack it in before the next federal election by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/19/stephen-harper-2015-progogation_n_3781293.html" target="_blank">announcing in Whitehorse that he'll be running again in 2015.</a> A reporter asked Harper direclty whether he would lead Conservatives into the next election. "The answer to the last question is, of course, yes,'' he said to cheers from partisan supporters. "I'm actually disappointed you feel the need to ask that question.''
We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat
Trudeau <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/369926160882212865/photo/1" target="_blank">announced on Twitter</a> in August that his wife is pregnant with the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/20/justin-trudeau-baby-sophie-gregoire-pregnant_n_3785575.html" target="_blank">couple's third child.</a> "Thrilled to let you know we're going to need another seat in our canoe: Sophie is pregnant! #threeisthenewtwo"
Trudeau's Pot Admission
Trudeau <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/22/justin-trudeau-marijuana-mp_n_3792208.html" target="_blank">sat down with HuffPost Canada's Althia Raj in August</a> and admitted that he has smoked marijuana since becoming an MP in 2008. The Liberal leader opened up about how his views about pot legalization have changed. He also revealed that his late brother, Michel Trudeau, was facing pot possession charges before his death in an avalanche in 1998 and that the experience influenced his position. Trudeau said he's smoked pot five or six times in his life. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/22/justin-trudeau-marijuana-mp_n_3792208.html" target="_blank">READ THE FULL STORY</a> The interview made national news, with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/22/justin-trudeau-marijuana-peter-mackay_n_3797481.html" target="_blank">Justice Minister Peter MacKay quick to slam Trudeau</a> for setting a "poor example" for kids. A law professor, however, took MacKay to task for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/26/peter-mackay-pot-trudeau_n_3816626.html" target="_blank">"misleading Canadians"</a> by saying Trudeau broke the law by smoking pot.
He Also Installed A Dimmer, Apparently..
"Am I the only one who finds successfully installing a dimmer oddly satisfying? #joysofmoving #excitingmondaynight," Trudeau <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/369632427448487936/photo/1" target="_blank">wrote on Twitter</a>.
Mulcair gave a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/14/mulcair-lac-megantic-deregulation_n_3756307.html" target="_blank">speech to the United Food and Commercial Workers International union in Chicago</a> in mid-August where he again drew a link between the Lac-Megantic disaster and government deregulation. The NDP leader accused conservatives in both Canada and the U.S. of dismantling health, safety and environmental protections in pursuit of prosperity. "Across the board, conservative governments are gutting the rules meant to protect the public and imposing industry self-regulation instead," he said. "Experts from the Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada are still investigating the role decades of deregulation played in the tragedy of Lac-Megantic."
Roll Up The Red Carpet
Mulcair launched a cross-country, "Roll Up The Red Carpet" tour in the last week of August to publicize the NDP's support for abolishing the Senate. The NDP leader took his message from coast to coast. "The Senate expense scandal — and the involvement of the Prime Minister’s Office in trying to cover it up — has served to erode even further Canadians’ trust in the Senate," Mulcair <a href="http://www.ndp.ca/news/mulcair-kicks-ndps-roll-red-carpet-tour" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. "The old line parties support the Senate because the Senate supports them. But more and more, Canadians can see there is a solution: abolition."
Can You Smell That Writ?
While in Nova Scotia, Mulcair met with Premier Darrell Dexter, who is expected to call a provincial election soon. <a href="https://twitter.com/ThomasMulcair/status/372116063367860224/photo/1" target="_blank">Needless to say, Mulcair and Dexter both agree it's time for the Senate to go</a>. "We put Nova Scotia’s old Senate chamber to good use — a conversation on abolishing Canada’s archaic Senate. #NDP"
Trudeau and his fellow Grits met in Prince Edward Island for the Liberal summer caucus retreat at the end of August. The Liberal leader cautioned that his party won't be releasing <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/28/trudeau-liberals-policy-2015_n_3831826.html" target="_blank">any concrete policy proposals until 2015.</a> He also drew the ire of the Parti Quebecois government in Quebec by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/29/trudeau-segregation-parti-quebecois_n_3836975.html" target="_blank">drawing parallels</a> between the proposed Charter of Quebec Values, which would restrict public employees from wearing religious symbols like turbans or hijabs, and U.S. segregation. Trudeau's remarks came on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. "These days when you reflect on the 50th anniversary of that magnificent speech by Dr. King, who was fighting segregation, who was fighting discrimination, who was rejection the notion that there are second-class citizens, you see that unfortunately even today, when we're talking, for instance, about this idea of a charter of Quebec values, there are still people who believe you must choose between your religion and Quebecois identity, there are people forced by the state in Quebec to make irresponsible and inconceivable choices."
BUT, He Did Take Selfies..
And Delighted Little Kids..
And Did The Old 'That High-Five Sure Stung' Gag..
And Charmed Women Having Drinks On A Patio..
'Do I Seem Like I Smoke Marijuana?'
After Trudeau's cannabis candour, politicians across Canada were asked about their own experiences with marijuana — including Harper. "Do I seem like I smoke marijuana?" Harper <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/29/stephen-harper-pot-marijuana_n_3838009.html" target="_blank">asked a reporter</a>, before saying his his asthma precluded smoking. The PM then repeated earlier Tory criticism of Trudeau, whom he said showed "poor judgment" with his pot use. "I look at the contrast with him promoting marijuana use for our children versus saying yesterday he will have no economic policy for several years," he said.
Also, This Happened..
<a href="https://twitter.com/ThomasMulcair/status/373513367127719936/photo/1" target="_blank">From Mulcair's Twitter:</a> "With #NDP MP @JeanCrowder and my sister Dr. Deb Mulcair @cowgreencom in Duncan. pic.twitter.com/JWqSe3QlYc"
Best Summer Ever?!
UP NEXT: Canadian Politicians Who Have Tried Pot
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he has had his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/28/rob-ford-marijuana-wynne_n_3831389.html" target="_blank">fair share of marijuana</a>. "Oh, yeah. I've smoked a lot of it."
The federal Liberal leader opened up to HuffPost about his experience with marijuana in August. "Sometimes, I guess, I have gotten a buzz, but other times no. I’m not really crazy about it.”
The Opposition leader's office told HuffPost this summer that Mulcair <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/22/justin-trudeau-marijuana-peter-mackay_n_3797481.html" target="_blank">has smoked in the past</a> but not since he was elected to office. Mulcair was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec in 1994.
Said the <a href="http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n506/a09.html" target="_blank">Tory finance minister</a>: "Yeah, in my teenage years... a couple of times, I have to admit: I didn’t like it."
The Liberal MP and Canada's first astronaut said he tried marijuana as a <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/Power+%26+Politics/ID/2402495133/" target="_blank">student in the 1970s in England. </a> "It's not my thing. I stopped because it wasn't doing anything for me."
The premier of Ontario said she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/28/kathleen-wynne-marijuana-pot_n_3830736.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics" target="_blank">smoked pot decades ago</a>. "I have smoked marijuana but not for the last 35 years."