Since Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister, I estimate that there have been over 56,000 "police reported incidents" of cannabis possession in Canada. Note that these are not cases where people are being arrested for a more serious crime, and the police also find a joint in their pocket. These are "federal statute incidents reported by police, by most serious offence." So in all these "incidents," cannabis possession was the most serious "crime" being committed.
The high level of cooperation between Canada and the United States over many decades has deeply intertwined our two countries and preserving Canada's long-held partnership with the United States will no doubt be at the top of Prime Minister Trudeau's to-do list in Washington. But he must be clear in sharing the message that mutual observance and commitment to upholding human rights must be at the very centre of the special bond between Canada and the United States. Worryingly, President Trump has so far given much reason to believe that regard for human rights is not high on his own to-do list.
Mr. Trudeau must choose between the anti-pipeline provinces like Quebec and British Columbia, and the interests of Alberta; between the oil industry magnates and the citizen opposition; between the oil economy with its short term goals and our international commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases.
While both the issues of "cash for access" and electoral reform will continue to dog the government in 2017, it is the drip-drip of the former that could prove fatal to the credibility of the government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should embrace the constructive suggestion of the three opposition parties.