Canada in Brief, Oct. 11-17

October 11, 2018 Updated: October 11, 2018

Ontario to launch public awareness campaign on pot legalization

Ontario’s attorney general says the province will launch a public awareness campaign when recreational cannabis is legalized to promote social responsibility and highlight the dangers of using the drug.

During a speech at the Empire Club, Caroline Mulroney said the ads will begin running next week and will emphasize the rules around pot use and measures to protect children.

Last month, the Progressive Conservatives announced they were moving to a private retail sale model, shifting away from the previous Liberal government’s plan to sell pot in publicly owned shops.

Mulroney says the Liberal plan would have failed because there would not have been enough stores open after legalization to compete with the black market.

NB Greens say no deal with Liberals or Tories

Premier Brian Gallant will convene a new session of the New Brunswick legislature on Oct. 23, but he has been unable to come to a formal agreement with the Greens in his bid to stay in power.

Gallant’s Liberals won 21 seats in last month’s provincial election—one fewer than the Progressive Conservatives.

The Green Party and the People’s Alliance each won three seats, but neither has been able to negotiate any official coalition with the main parties to secure a majority.

Green Leader David Coon says after days of discussions with both the Liberals and Tories it became clear the conditions for a formal agreement were not present.

No plans to remove crucifix from Quebec legislature

The incoming Coalition Avenir Quebec government says it has no intention of removing the crucifix that hangs behind the Speaker’s chair in the legislature.

Simon Jolin-Barrette, a spokesman for the transition team, says there is no contradiction between the new government’s plan to impose strict secularism rules on certain public servants and its desire to maintain the crucifix.

He says the crucifix, which has hung in the national assembly since the 1930s, is part of Quebec’s heritage.

Ford holds rally to mark first 100 days as Ontario premier

Doug Ford marked his first 100 days as Ontario’s premier with a rally at the heart of the so-called Ford Nation on Oct. 9

Ford, who officially took the reins on June 30 after promising to reduce government waste without cutting jobs or services, hosted the rally in his riding of Etobicoke-North.

“Over 100 days ago, we promised we would put more money in your pockets, and for the past 100 days, that is what we have done,” he told the jubilant crowd.

“Most importantly, the cap-and-trade carbon tax is finished, done.  No matter what, we always fight to keep the government’s hands out of your pockets.”

With files from The Canadian Press