Thoughts from Montreal, Day One

Bob speaking from the Liberal Biennial Convention

  • Des Nation Quebecois… The chimes of a local downtown church led me to ponder the question of Quebec “nationhood”.  There is no question that Quebecois have a distinct culture.  They may very well be a “nation-within-a-nation”.  But do they really consider themselves as such?  As I meander through their hustle and bustle on the way to work, I wonder if they really ponder the motion was passed in the House of Commons and what it really means.

  • Just say no…  Today, at the Liberal Convention, I spoke out vehemently against the legalization of marijuana.  I offered strong debate on the resolution put forward by the Young Liberals of Canada.  I did my part to stifle the resolution so that it couldn’t be advanced any further.  I do not want to be a part of Canada when my kids and I walk down the street and someone is smoking up in front of me.  I am thoroughly convinced that pot is a gateway drug. People don’t just start with cocaine or heroin.  They work up to it.  Some will argue that it will legalize cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution thereby eliminating the criminal element and organized crime.  But even legalized cigarettes, alcohol and gambling haven’t dispursed criminals trying to make a buck. The casino reviews showed that Montreal is one of the places you would like to visit if you like to play gambling. However, most damaging of all is the effect on our communities and families.  On First Nations, drugs, social issues and health issues go hand in hand.  This includes marijuana.

  • It’s not dead yet…  I was proud to play a role in speaking up for Kelowna Accord.  This afternoon, I urged the delegates to vote for an enabling resolution to implement the historic First Ministers’ agreement with First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.  I lobbyed the women’s commission all around me to support the resolution and this issues as a priority.  During the Policy Session on Heritage and Identity, the delegates in attendance voted to make Kelowna the Number One priority, by 73 votes in favour.  As a result, the resolution will go to the plenary session tomorrow.

  • Women and children first…  Other resolutions that will go to the floor:  Addressing Child Poverty by increasing the Child Tax Credit, and improving Gender Parity for Liberal MPs up to 52 percent.  I was happy to support both these resolutions.

  • Objectively speaking…  The best speech of the day to the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission was Ken Dryden.  After a slow start, he had flare, he was dynamic, he had a message.  Deserving of much more support than he is receiving.  I am proud to be a Dryden delegate and got a chance to say as much to him today as well.

  • Bob Rae.  Bob Rae.  Bob Rae…  Yes, I walked in with him to register among the throngs of supporters.  He’s on my top two list for second ballot support.  But I did not yell, chant or wear any cheezy t-shirt.  But it is still only Wednesday.

  • And how was your day?…

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