It’s the first week of April! Congratulations Canada – you survived another winter. Hope you are enjoying this spring Monday wherever you are. Here are last week’s top stories in Canadian politics and around the world:
1. Legalization of Marijuana: The Liberal government is set to announce legislation this month (reportedly, the week of April 10) that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018. The legislation will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force, and will include the following provisions: (CBC)
- A minimum purchase age of 18;
- For Canadians who want to grow their own marijuana, a limit of 4 plants per household;
- Responsibility imparted on the federal government to ensure the safety of the marijuana supply and to license producers;
- Responsibility imparted on the provinces to decide how marijuana is distributed and to set the price.
- P.S. Some critics are arguing that the Liberal government’s target for legalization by July, 2018 is too ambitious considering the amount of discretion left to the provinces. Check out this article from The Globe and Mail for more details.
2. Brexit: On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon – the mechanism by which a country can unilaterally exit the European Union. This launches a two-year long exit process during which time both parties will negotiate the terms of the “breakup.” (The Globe and Mail)
- For a long, lunchtime read, check out this article from The Guardian, that provides a detailed overview of the historic relationship between Britain and the EU.
3. Trump + Climate Change: Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing climate change. The order rescinds the Clean Power Plan, which required states to slash carbon emissions, eliminates numerous restrictions on fossil fuel production, and claims to put an end to the “war on coal.” (BBC, Toronto Star)
4. Operation Impact: Canadian trainers and soldiers will continue work largely under the current mandate of Operation Impact for at least three more months. In a press release Friday morning, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that the mission to contain and defeat ISIS in Iraq will be extended until June 30 and Canadian Forces members will continue training, advising and assisting coalition partners, but that there will be “a few adjustments.” (iPolitics)
- You can check out the full press release here.
5. Sixties Scoop Settlement Talks: The federal government has begun settlement negotiations in what is known as the Sixties Scoop as class-action lawyers across Canada jockey to represent First Nations people who were removed from their homes when they were children and adopted into non-Indigenous families. (The Globe and Mail)