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Index for my Toronto Budget 2004 project
There Goes Cellucci Again 2
21/01/2004

I'm really behind the eight-ball trying to finish some projects at work, so I don't have any time to maintain my blog. But I just took a break and came across this annoying breaking story at the Toronto Star:

Younger people trying to enter the United States will become targets of increased surveillance unless Canada can dispel the perception that it is slackening penalties for pot use, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci said.

That perception might be eradicated if Canada's pending marijuana legislation included criminal penalties for more than one conviction, for possession near schools or possession while operating a vehicle, Cellucci said.

Is this normal, for an ambassador to come out and start making legislative suggestions in public? It seems rather arrogant and inappropriate, especially when viewed in the context of the size and influence differences between Canada and the United States.

In the past I have made jokes about Paul Cellucci behaving like "King George's Governor General" rather than an ambassador, but actually, if the real Governor General made a comment like this, it would be a scandal.

What's odd is this quote (from the same article):

"We understand that this is a public policy decision for Canada to make just like (some U.S.) states have made," he told The Canadian Press in an interview.

"We're just saying that right now the perception is that it's going to be a lot easier to get marijuana in Canada and that's going to put pressure on the border."

So, if they "understand" Canada's actual policy, then why do they care about perception? Is it because the perceptions of Canada as a leader in liberalism are felt to be a possible influence in the United States? If so, then this should encourage, not discourage, us!


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