Liberal Party of Canada response to Question 7

Question:  How will your party’s agenda support community policing and crime prevention in Calgary?

Question:  What is your party’s position on medical marijuana? Should your party form government what direction will you give municipalities on the contentious issues of medical marijuana dispensaries?

Question:  Working within the existing CPS Crime Prevention and Reduction Continuum and Canada’s National Counter-Terrorism Strategy, CPS has developed the ReDirect Strategy to prevent youth radicalization by engaging youth-at-risk in early intervention. What measures will your party take to prevent youth radicalization?

Answer:  One of our highest responsibilities as leaders and elected officials is keeping Canadians safe, while protecting our fundamental freedoms. Smart and sustainable investments in law enforcement resources are essential to ensure safety of Canadians and the Harper government has failed to do so. A Liberal government will make smart and sustainable investments our law enforcement agencies and ensure the money allocated to protect the safety of Canadians is spent on that critical priority.

Further, while Liberals believe in strong penalties for serious crimes, we do not believe that "after the gavel" justice – sentencing alone – is sufficient to keep our communities safe. We also understand that there is a critical role for judges in determining sentences and mandatory minimum sentences should be restricted to serious and violent offences only.

Canadians understand that there need be no contradiction between protecting our rights and freedoms, and protecting our collective security. Our response to terrorism cannot be confined to legislative measures alone. It must also include a serious plan for preventing radicalization before it takes root, and ensure that our security agencies are adequately resourced so that they are able to carry out the tasks required of them.

Canadians are also deeply concerned about national security and threats of domestic terrorism, and it’s the responsibility of the government to ensure that law enforcement and intelligence agencies have the tools needed to keep Canadians safe. At the same time, Liberals believe we must ensure proper oversight of those agencies, and to make sure the personal information of law abiding Canadians is not illegally monitored by their own government.

A Liberal government will legalize and regulate marijuana.

Access to marijuana for medical reasons has been legal in Canada for nearly 15 years. The Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana is legal in all forms. Dried marijuana is the only substance allowed under this government’s access rules, but not everyone is able to use this product. Health Canada’s medical marijuana rules do not cover the new forms of medical marijuana. The government must take action to ensure medical marijuana rules address the court’s decision.

The Liberal Party of Canada supports a well-regulated, legal system for marijuana access because it promotes public health and safety, reduces the harms associated with the use of marijuana, and helps to keep the drug out of the hands of our children.

The Conservatives have attacked our party for its position on the prohibition of marijuana, claiming we are "trying to make it easier for children to access drugs in their communities." At the same time, they quietly authorized the largest expansion of legal marijuana distribution in Canadian history. This is their record. This government made these changes because its own analysis was crystal clear: a well-regulated, legal system for marijuana access promotes public safety and helps keeps drugs out of the hand of our children – exactly what Liberals have been saying all along.

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