Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fielded questions on a variety of issues, including pipelines, immigration and Indigenous concerns, during a town-hall meeting at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Asked by some of the 18-hundred in attendance if he was concerned about the number of people crossing the border illegally and claiming refugee status, Trudeau said Canada has obligations under international treaties to give asylum-seekers a hearing. A woman criticized Trudeau for his government’s summer-jobs program, but was drowned out by applause when the P-M said he won’t be rolling back the clock on women’s rights — adding groups that specifically hire students to oppose abortion rights should not be federally funded.
As the federal government works to legalize recreational marijuana this summer, the future of the so-called grey market remains hazy. The grey market is the portion of the pot industry that has both legal and illegal elements. Selling weed over the counter is illegal under federal law, but Victoria and Vancouver have granted business licences to more than two-dozen medical dispensaries. Jeremy Jacob of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries says Canada should follow Colorado’s lead and give existing dispensaries and growers priority when granting licences.
Prime Minister Trudeau has tweeted that the Senate’s approval to tweak a line in the national anthem “is another positive step towards gender equality.” A bill to make the anthem more gender neutral passed third reading in the Senate last night. Only royal assent is needed now in order to change the second line of “O Canada” from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.”