Category Archives: #cdnpoli

Well, we can’t have that!

marc-emery-embrace

Regular readers and friends will know that I wrote a book last year entitled “Start and Run a Marijuana Dispensary or Pot Shop” (yes, hit the link and buy the book…I make about a buck). The book was written in anticipation of Trudeau’s legalization strategy here in Canada and the likelihood that many more American states would legalize recreational or medical marijuana in the November elections.

I don’t have a particular axe to grind in the pot wars. If I smoke pot I go to sleep in three minutes or less. So I don’t. If I had trouble sleeping, I would. But, politically, I think it is assinine to keep marijuana (and several other drugs) illegal. Doing media for the book I have chattered away on assorted Canadian radio programs and said, bluntly, that for the time being, opening a pot shop in Canada opened you to the business risk of “GOING TO JAIL”. My lovely publicist Hanna probably grimaces when she hear me say that but it is, absurdly enough, true.

Which was proven today.

Police officers in several Canadian cities raided illegal marijuana dispensaries linked to activists Marc and Jodie Emery on Thursday, charging them and several others with drug offences as part of an investigation led by Toronto police.

The raids were the latest attempt by local police forces to shut down pot shops that have been opening in cities across the country, even as the federal government prepares to fully legalize the drug with legislation this spring. It was also notable for the involvement of Vancouver’s police force, which has largely left dispensaries in the city alone, including those run by the Emerys.

The two were arrested at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday as part of a Toronto police operation called Project Gator. the globe and mail

Now, what is actually going on is that the prohibitionist faction in the Liberal Party, led by ex Toronto police chief Bill Blair, having lost the big argument to young Justin, is fighting a brutal rear guard action against the hippy libertarian pot people who don’t see the need for massively intrusive pot regulation. And there is no better place for such un-Canadian anarchists than court and then jail.

The game here is simple: legalization if necessary but not necessarily legalization. The dumbo Millennials who flocked to hip young Justin heard him say “legalization” and didn’t hear all the caveats. But Bill Blair did. And Bill Blair is not the sort of guy who likes any sort of disorder. (Disorder needs to be kettled in Blair world.) The emergence of a grey market in pot is disorderly. It means that the big money guys at Canopy and the other publically listed potcos might be cut out of a “bottom up” recreational marijuana market.

Blair said a day ago that Canada would not rush into the legalized recreational pot market. First there is the legislation which is expected in spring. Then there are the regulations to be worked out with the provinces…

Lawmaker Bill Blair — the former Toronto police chief leading Trudeau’s legalization effort — confirmed a bill is due in parliament this spring, but it won’t be the last hurdle as ample regulatory work remains. The federal government will take its time and work with provinces, territories and cities to build a framework and develop specific regulations, he said.

The government is also looking for ways to control production, distribution and consumption of legalized marijuana, while testing it for quality and keeping it out of the hands of minors, Blair said. bloomberg

All of which should give assorted police forces plenty of time to raid, charge and crush the emergent, unregulated, pot industry in Canada. (To save the children and ensure “purity” of course.)

Trudeau’s supporters are far too stupid to realize what is going on. In fact, Trudeau himself, who simply wants to legally be able to enjoy a joint after dinner, isn’t bright enough to realize the prohibitionists and the corporate pot guys are now running this show. He’s been played.

Marc and Jodie Emery are the go to people for media on the pot issue. Given the charges filed today, they may not be available much longer. Which is exactly what corporate pot in Canada has been pushing for.

 

(And…WTF? Vancouver too. Shame on you VPD.)

Update: 

Ottawa policeman raids pot shop

Ok, why the mask?

Masked police may make sense in terror situations but, so far as is known, pot shop owners don’t track down cops.

So why the mask. There are other pictures of the raids on Cannabis Culture with other masked officers. Why?

I can imagine the poor buggers are ashamed of themselves but that is no justification for wearing masks. I suspect the elephant gun is for taking down the maddened stoners frequenting the shops. But the mask?

The mask is about intimidation plain and simple. The hidden face of the big state showing those hippie libertarians who’s boss. Anti-terror cops sometimes wear masks although they shouldn’t because they should be proud of what they do. Secret police wear masks because they know they cannot be proud of what they do.

So, Justin, you might ask Bill Blair, just out of interest, why the masks?

 

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Trump and the Canadians

Trump, CanadaCanadians’ views on American politics are generally fairly predictable. Being Canadian means a degree of smugness blended with a drop or two of envy and a fairly constant need to assert moral superiority. In a very polite, but persistent way.

The candidacy, nomination and election of Donald Trump gave the better class of Canadian plenty of opportunity to show each other just how intelligent and enlighted they were. The Coynes and Kinsellas competed with each other in the political snobbery sweepstakes. Trump was Hitler, the Republicans the Nazi Party, Steve Bannon was a badly dressed Goring or, more likely, Satan himself. Breitbart News was Der Stürmer, the alt-right was universally the SS, the Trump regime overnight transformed America – save for the brave “Resistance” – into an anti-semitic, racist, fascist, misogynistic state in which freedom of the press and human rights in general were crushed under the jackbooted heels of Trump’s evil to a man (and pretend woman) Cabinet.

It has been tons of fun to watch ostensibly rational, intelligent, people reach immediately for the white supremacist smear tool kit in the face of the unthinkable occurring in our neighbour to the South.  The fact that, one month into the Trump Presidency, the worst he seems to have done is be rude to CNN and the New York Times doesn’t deter our good and decent Canadians one bit. They just know that Trump is an evilton and, at any moment, will open the concentration camps and start rounding up Mexicans, Jews, Blacks, Muslims, Women, Queers, NYT reporters and anyone else the human Cheeto and his henchmen find objectionable.

And, to make the entire thing even more ominous, there seems to be a belief that Trump was put into position by none other than Prince of Darkness, Vladimir Putin and that Trump is simply following orders. Or something.

Step by step refutations of all or some of this hysteria have next to no effect. the Canadian reaction to Trump is not a “political” reaction in any common sense of that term. It is far more visceral, more religious, more tribal: Trump could be a very good President, accomplish great things, improve the condition of black people, defend the 1st Amendment and preside over an economic boom lifting all boats and he would still, to the Canadian commentariat, be the Hell Spawn of Satan.

Now some of that commentariat, like Kinsella, are simply stupid partisans for whom nothing Trump says or does will ever be anything but evil. These were the people who, had they been Americans, would have eagerly voted for Hilly on her merits. (A touching act of faith performed by very few actual Americans – the “hold your nose for Hillary” voters constituted the bulk of her support.)

The mildly more rational, like Coyne, seem to see Trump as essentially impossible. Back before the election Coyne was rumbling on about not being able to see how anyone could support Trump. More recently, he is using the Trump re-alignment in American politics as a stick with which to beat up the Canadian conservative Manning Center conference for having rightish agenda items and some populist speakers.

The biggest worry, the nightmare scenario, for the Canadian media and political elite, is the possibility that Canada is not entirely unanimous in its fevered rejection of Trump and all he stands for. There is an awful possibility that we do not live to welcome refugees. And there seem to be some ungracious Canadians who believe that people who come to Canada should adopt Canadian ways and “fit into mainstream Canadian society”. Yikes!

There is some evidence that, once they realize what it costs and how little effect it will have, Canadians are not entirely willing to do whatever it takes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

There are even some Canadians who are growing a tiny bit suspicious that mainstream Canadian media might not be reporting objectively. In fact, when Macleans let a bunch of its staffers go a few weeks ago, there were nasty Canadians saying “good riddance”.

Despite the frantic efforts of the Kinsellas and Coynes of this world, there are disturbing signs not every Canadian is thrilled with rule by the Laurentian elite.

For all of his foibles, the late Rob Ford’s success in Toronto, worried Canadian elites. I mean it’s one thing to have yahoos in Alberta electing hard core conservatives, but this was Toronto.

The three leading contenders for the Conservative Party of Canada’s leadership are all running from the Right. Leitch because that gave her an edge in the early going; O’Leary because, well, who knows what goes on in that strange little man’s head; Bernier because he has run and been elected as a libertarian conservative for years.

Mainstream media is bleeding out, unable to compete with online, unable to adapt to the internet and unable to attract revenue. It is being replaced by everything from VICE and The Rebel to news and views delivered by social media. The cozy relationship between the Globe and Mail, CTV, CBC and the Ottawa political world is collapsing because ambitious politicians can by-pass the media elite.

If our commentariat thought about it for a bit they would realize that the actual reality of Trump is not that he is orange Hitler; rather he and the people around him have figured out how to culture jam traditional media, traditional politics and, perhaps, the deep state. Thinking about how Trump managed to do that would be more interesting than thinking crapping on him from great height somehow matters.

The people, the Canadians, who realize that Trump was actually about something important and transformative will have a clue about what is likely to go on in Canada in the next few years.

 

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Pot Leaks

marijuana postal delivery

Here are your brownies Mrs. Smith. Can I see some ID?

To my not very great surprise, John Ivison of the National Post had parts of the Canada Marijuana Task Force Report leaked to him.

What was a tiny bit surprising was to be called by “The Morning Show with Matt Gurney and Supriya Dwivedi” http://www.640toronto.com/morningshow/ at 5:30 AM this morning (Producer Ryan…you owe me baked goods.) to comment on the information disclosed in the leak. You can listen to my remarkably coherent (having been awake for a minute and a half) ramblings here.

A couple of slightly less random thoughts on the leaked material.

The leak itself is interesting and more than a little outrageous. The Report clearly favours Health Canada Licenced Medical Marijuana growers and many of those corporate grow shows are publically traded companies. Allowing the report to come out in dribs and drabs (because “translation”) could cause deep uncertainty in the public markets. The government should release the report, in toto, immediately.

Substantively, the Report apparently recommends that legalization efforts be directed at “getting rid of the $7-billion-a year black market. Sources familiar with the report, which is expected to be made public Dec. 21, say all the other recommendations flow from that guiding principle.”

It is not clear whether that “black market” includes the grey market of dispensaries and pot shops which has grown up in Canada and which continues to expand.

Using “legalization” as a weapon against the “black market” is pretty much the level of restrictive thinking I expected from the Task Force. Rather than seeing legalization as an opportunity to regularize the marijuana market, the language suggests a resumption of the war on drugs by other means.

The Task Force is apparently suggesting that the 40 Health Canada approved licencees remain the only legal source of marijuana and proposes that recreational pot, like medicinal pot, continue to be delivered by Canada Post. A nostalgic bow to the mail and a suggestion pretty certain to keep dispensaries and “Bob on the corner” in business for the foreseeable future. Here is a free clue for the Liberal government: recreational pot users are impulse buyers. As I say in my book, “The most common triggers for the decision is that, by their lights, a customer is running low on pot, has run out of pot or has been out of pot for some time but only now has the money to buy more pot.” In short, not likely to wait a week for Canada Post to deliver.

But recreational pot users may be waiting a lot longer than that. Let’s do a bit of simple math. A 7 billion dollar a year “black” market at, say, $10 per gram implies a 700 million gram market or 700,000 kilograms. According to Health Canada’s market data, Canada’s licenced corporate grow shows, in the quarter ending September 30, 2016 produced 5734 kilograms of pot and had inventory of 13,236 kg. Just for fun, lets say we take quarterly production to 7000kg. Annualized, in round numbers, 30,000kg.

Yup, the combined production of all the Health Canada licenced corporate grow shows is, optimistically, less than 5% of projected recreational demand aka “the black market”. Don’t be looking for the postie with your pot anytime soon.

There is no question that some, but not all, of the current licencees can scale up their operations; however a 20x increase in production is not likely with only 40 licencees.

Ivison’s story goes on to suggest that, at least initially, Canada Post would have a monopoly on pot deliveries. The logic here being that Canada Post would verify the identity and age of the people it was delivering to. Right. Just for fun think about how that would work. Would you go to your local post office and present ID to pick up your pot? Would the postie (for those of you who still have home delivery) ask for id at your door? Canada Post according to its 2015 Annual Report delivers millions of parcels. Some days it delivers over 1 million parcels. E-commerce is taking off and Canada Post is getting its share of the business. But a great deal of the parcel post does not involve any interaction with the recipient.

If you take the “black market” number of 700 million grams and assume people will buy in 10 gram parcels – call it $100 – that is 70 million face to face deliveries a year. There will be new jobs at the Post Office.

The only encouraging thing in the Ivison piece is that distribution and production will have to be discussed with the provinces. Ivison suggests that, at least in BC, “which already has a large number of pot shops, the expectation is that the provincial government will require dispensaries to buy marijuana from a licensed producer.” This would make a heck of a lot more sense than distributing through the Post Office.

I am waiting for the release of the actual report, but if Ivison’s article is substantially correct, the Liberal Government is being handed a largely unworkable plan for marijuana legalization. Insufficient supply, inefficient distribution and a prohibitionary mentality seem to have destroyed the entrepreneurial opportunity marijuana legalization presented.

I’m not surprised.

 

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Venezuela

Well this is a surprise…Honest reporting from the People Paradise: NYT

From the coast, we started inland, a journey that began with the discovery of black gold. Not of oil, of which there is plenty in Venezuela, but of black beans. There are almost none in this country.

Few producers make them anymore for the fixed government price. Octavio Medina bought them for 50 times that price and still sold them for an additional markup on the street. He says dozens of people buy bags, priced at half a day’s work at minimum wage.

Socialism based on an oil economy…Hmmm. With our boy Justin at the helm I am thinking beans might be a good investment this summer.

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It’s over

As I write the world’s media, having hyped global warming and the Paris COP21 for the last six months, is trying to figure out what is in the so called historical agreement.

The short answer is: not much. There are some pious promises to meet each country’s goals – promises which are to be monitored by the countries themselves. And there is a really sincere promise to “mobilize” that 100 billion to help the developing world which was promised at the last COP and, as I recall, the COP before that.

There is inadvertently honest paragraph 17 which acknowledges that the national promises will lead to 55 gigatons of CO2 emissions in 2025 and 2030 which is 12 percent rise from the 2014 level of 49Gt. Para 17 also notes that the promised reductions will lead to a rise in temperature over 2 degrees.

Naomi Klein is disappointed and James Hansen has declared COP21 a fraud in the Guardian.

For those of us who are sceptical about the CO2 theory of global warming, the entire Rio to Kyoto to Copenhagen to Paris  exercise has always been more annoying than substantive. the great and the good were meeting to discuss a “problem” and a “solution” which rested on shakey, untested science.

But the good news out of Paris, the signing of an entirely toothless, legally non-binding, document hailed by media and politicos alike as “the end of the fossil fuel era” is the high water mark of the loony Green war on CO2.

Never again will the green world manage to get the media attention that COP21 has received. And without that attention an already indifferent public will turn to other issues.

Better still, the global warming/climate change scam needed increasing temperatures to keep it alive. It needed shrinking sea ice and rising sea levels. It needed “the evidence” to either support the “consensus view” (itself a statistical fraud) or at least not contradict that view. There is every indication that the “pause” may be a prelude to a decade or two of global cooling.

There is not a climate model used by the IPCC which predicts or even has a mechanism which might explain a statistically significant fall in temperature. When this year’s El Nino is finished -likely quite soon – the temporary goosing of the temperature record will be done as well. Normally, after an El Nino there will be a cooling La Nina. Depending on how cooling that turns out to be, it may very well be sufficient to turn the global temperature record negative in the face of continuously rising CO2 levels.

Given that the bogus Paris document is predicated on the IPCC models linking temperature to CO2, when those models collapse the scientific scam will be over. Without the “science” the overall “climate change to transfer wealth” scheme will lose the little momentum it has left.

With the Paris flim flam in hand the political classes will have “saved the world” and will, I expect, start trying to change the subject. Quickly.

It’s over.

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2.65 Billion: It’s Harper’s Fault

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(link)
Assorted rightie bloggers are expressing their outrage that Trudeau has committed Canada to spending 2.65 billion dollars helping 3rd world kleptocracies “fight climate change”.

As I said at Kate’s and repeated at BCF,

Idiot.

However, the real problem lies with Harper and the Cons not digging in and discrediting the global warming farce while they had a majority. 20 million tossed at sceptical researchers – ideally led by Steve MacIntyre – and the whole scam could have been buried forever.

Instead, Harper and the Cons pretended that global warming was a thing. They didn’t actually do anything about it; but they did not use their time in government to demolish the Green Blob.

20 million versus 2.65 billion simply because the Conservatives were chickenshits.

Harper might have had an excuse with the minorities. He had no excuse with a majority. He knew the science was bogus and the economics laughable. But he wanted to avoid offending the climate true believers. So he punted the file and we are stuck with 2.65 billion now and carbon taxes and, Lord knows, what else.

A twenty million dollar Commission looking at the science and the economics could have torpedoed the crazier claims of the warmists and built a solid wall of science preventing Trudeau and Dion and the other dimwits from fashionably screwing the economy.

Harper lacked the courage of his convictions on this file and many others. Good riddance.

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France and Terror

Ignored in news coverage of the Paris massacre is the single most pertinent piece of background: A 2014 opinion poll found that ISIS had an approval rating in France (at 16%) almost as high as President Francois Holland (at 18%). In the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, ISIS’ support jumped to 27%. Muslims comprise about a tenth of France’s population, so the results imply that ISIS had the support of the overwhelming majority of French Muslims (and especially Muslim youth), as well as the endorsement of a large part of the non-Muslim Left. Spengler

Spengler suggests that France will do nothing in the wake of the Paris attrocities. His logic is that to do something involves putting pressure on the French Muslim community which, in turn, will likely cause a great deal of trouble. The French don’t want the trouble so they will do nothing.

I am not sure Spengler is right but the numbers and the concentrations of Muslims in France suggest he may be.

I don’t live in France but the takeaway for Canada is that at a certain point a Muslim population becomes unmanagable. Canada is not at that point. Yet.

Realistically, Canada needs to take a hard look at immigration from Muslim majority countries. A trickle is one thing, a serious flow quite another. By eliminating, or vastly reducing, immigration from those countries we have the chance to avoid the truly awful consequences of a large, unassimilated and potentially hostile group within our borders.

I suspect if you were to ask the average Frenchman or Englishman or German whether, given the chance of a “do-over”, they would have welcomed quite so many Muslims to their nations, you would hear a chorus of Nein, Non and No. We have the opportunity to reduce our future regrets with, initially, a moratorium and then, after a decade or so, a re-examination of the question of Muslim immigration.

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Think Again

One of the Paris terrorists apparently arrived in Greece in October claiming to be a refugee. link

Canada proposes to accept 25,000 “refugees” on an expedited basis. The government needs to give us an undertaking that it will not let a single “refugee” in who cannot be positively vetted no matter how long that takes.

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Do We Get Serious?

To repeat what I said a few days ago, I’m Islamed out. I’m tired of Islam 24/7, at Colorado colleges, Marseilles synagogues, Sydney coffee shops, day after day after day. The west cannot win this thing with a schizophrenic strategy of targeting things and people but not targeting the ideology, of intervening ineffectually overseas and not intervening at all when it comes to the remorseless Islamization and self-segregation of large segments of their own countries.

So I say again: What’s the happy ending here? Because if M Hollande isn’t prepared to end mass Muslim immigration to France and Europe, then his “pitiless war” isn’t serious. And, if they’re still willing to tolerate Mutti Merkel’s mad plan to reverse Germany’s demographic death spiral through fast-track Islamization, then Europeans aren’t serious. In the end, the decadence of Merkel, Hollande, Cameron and the rest of the fin de civilisation western leadership will cost you your world and everything you love.

So screw the candlelight vigil. mark steyn

I think the events in Paris bring us a bit closer to being serious. A bit closer to the recognition of the fundamental incompatibility of Islam with Western liberal democracy. We’ll see in the morning.

The way we will see is by paying close attention to our leader’s words and their actions. To allow a million Muslims to arrive in Europe in the guise of refugees is an obvious mistake and one which, with political will, can be corrected. (And, in the Canadian case, to invite 25,000 so called refugees in on a timetable which precludes serious vetting is an excellent test of Trudeau’s seriousness as a leader.) But will it be?

Will Hollande’s “pitiless” crusade against terror actually deploy troops to the “no-go zomes” of Paris for the house to house searches to find the weapons, the illegals and the intelligence? Will the rest of Europe cheer the French on or retreat behind the tut, tuts of multikulti delusion?

We are about to find out if this night in Paris has been enough. I would have thought Charlie Hebdo would have been enough. But I was wrong then. Everybody had a nice march and went home.

Will this be enough? I am afraid I doubt it. Mark is right in that the West simply will not confront the reality of political, imperial, Islam. We’re lazy and we’re nice and we simply can’t imagine the sorts of action which might stop the flow of illegal migrants or the terror in the streets of Paris. Because to imagine that is to treat people who are deeply different from us as alien, as “other”. We are too polite to recognize and treat the cancer which is Islam.

This is a war. It is a war which has been going on since the 7th Century. The other side has always, right from the time of the prophet, understood that this is a war. The West, most of the time, pretends it isn’t. Will Paris convince us to take the war seriously? I hope so but I doubt it.

I really think it will take a mass atrocity: biological, chemical or nuclear with 100,000 or a million deaths, to put a bit of fight in us. And, sad to say, when that happens the terrified left and muddled center will probably try to figure out how to negotiate.

No, really.

When asked Thursday by CBC about confronting ISIS, Sajjan said:

“We need to get better as an international coalition … better at looking at the threats early on, to making sure that we identify them early so they don’t balloon into these big threats,”

“They were smaller at one time, we need to get better at identifying the subtle indicators so we might be able to have dealt with it diplomatically.” the rebel

(Sad to see a Sikh warrior say something so craven about the traditional enemy of the Sikhs.)

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Timing

A fair number of the louder conservatives are already calling down the Furies on Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet. It turns out the Stephan Dion is just as Green as he ever was and that the Libs are going to throw their shoulders into bringing the 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada ASAP. And lots more besides. As Lance over at SDA points out:

“I hope the incrementalist Conservatives are paying attention. The liberals are slashing and burning their way back to Trudeaupia and they’ve only been in power for what – a week?”

With 39% of the vote the Libs are doing exactly what they said they were going to do and, of course, the media party is cheering them on.

Whining about the Libs doing what they said they were going to do is dopey. At the moment, and right through the winter and into the spring, the Liberals are going to push their agenda. They are also going to blame the Conservatives for anything which goes wrong. Conservatives who don’t get that are just firing blanks at an indifferent enemy.

Now is an excellent time for Conservatives to think clearly about why, in four years, Canadians should vote for the Conservative Party. Make the assumption that all will go reasonably well for Trudeau. (Over estimate his strength.) Assume further that there is presently no potential Conservative leader who will come close to Trudeau in terms of straight leadership appeal. Now, why would someone vote for the Conservative Party?

It is not enough to shoot at the inevidable “carbon tax”. Conservatives have to go out and actually say why a carbon tax is an expensive, ineffective way of making very little change to a non-existent problem. They need to push back against the dwindling, but loud, anti-scientific, economically illiterate warmists. On migrants they need to actually articulate why it is a bad idea to allow more than 25,000 into Canada while be conspicuous in helping to settle the poor people already in the pipeline.

Conservatives also have to think seriously about their own economic platform. Trudeau is promising 10 billion a year for infrastructure to be financed with deficits. Throughout the campaign there was no coherent response to this bit of economic candy. Was it wrong? If so why? Did the Conservatives have an alternative? What are the pillars of a Conservative economic vision for Canada? That needs to be hashed out before there really can be a coherent response to Trudeau.

Just as every new government has a honeymoon lasting at least six months and often up to a year, a defeated party has a period of reflection. While Ezra and the gang at the Rebel are pouncing on every Liberal announcement and appointment as evidence of Liberal prefidity, they are wasting their breath and annoying the fair minded Canadians who tend to think the new kids should have a bit of a break as they take over.

Winning the next election is going to be touch for the Conservatives, there is no reason to make it tougher by substituting rants for constructive policy. Give Trudeau room to make his mistakes. Give him time to hit the various potholes the world is putting in his way. Most of all, get to work to give Canadians a real alternative to the Liberals.

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