Award-winning writer and broadcaster Stephen Kimber is a professor of journalism at University of King's College in Halifax. He writes about issues facing Halifax and Nova Scotia every Monday for Metro.
You must be toking, Peter MacKay
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So Peter MacKay has never smoked dope.
Perhaps that’s his problem.
Last week, the justice minister got his knickers in a knot when Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s matter-of-factly disclosed he had — like 39 per cent of Canadians — enjoyed the occasional puff from a joint, most recently at a dinner party (horror of horrors) after he’d been elected an MP.
Trudeau did not, infamously, suggest he didn’t inhale. Nor did he champion its use. Although “sometimes, I guess, I’ve gotten a buzz… it’s never really done anything for me,” he told the Huffington Post of the “five or six” times he’s tried it.
Trudeau once voted for harsher penalties for those caught smoking weed, but says his position has “evolved” and he now supports legalization.
That was too much for Pious Peter, who huffed and (ahem) puffed that Trudeau showed a “profound lack of judgment” and was a “poor example for all Canadians,” adding, hyper-hypocritically, “there’s an element of hypocrisy of having voted on the record to increase penalties around the same time he was lighting up.”
Uh… where to begin?
Hypocrisy? “I think most Canadians expect their Member of Parliament will obey the law,” MacKay told a Halifax news conference on Friday. I looked but could find no evidence MacKay ever admonished Tories who flouted gun-registry rules when that was the law of the land.
And there is the question of MacKay’s trustworthiness on… well, any subject.
This is the man who, as defence minister, publicly insisted the multibillion-dollar F-35 jet-procurement program was proceeding according to plan when it was, in fact, spiralling so far out of control the government ultimately had to reset the whole process.
The man who prevaricated then fibbed when he first claimed — wrongly — his infamous $16,000 helicopter hitchhike was part of a planned military search-and-rescue demonstration, then that he needed to get to an important — nonexistent — press conference in London.
The man who won the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservatives by promising he would never, ever merge the party with Stephen Harper’s right-wing Canadian Alliance. And then ...
Never tried marijuana? If that’s true — and who can tell — I’d give it a try, Peter. You might see the world more clearly.