Conservatives show outdated priorities

Federal government still fighting war on drugs long after it was lost

With Canada’s economy mired in recession, with too many Canadians without a job and struggling to make ends meet, with the country’s sick and elderly being forced to wait too long to receive adequate medical coverage, many Canadians are looking to Ottawa in hopes that their concerns are being heard.

Unfortunately, with an Oct. 19 federal election looming on the horizon, the federal government has no time to focus on the problems facing Canadians. Instead, the Harper Conservatives would much rather roll out solutions to problems that don’t exist.

After spending much of the weekend talking about plans for a travel ban that would prevent Canadians from visiting countries associated with terrorism, Stephen Harper found yet another subject that won’t remind Canadians of the economic mess the country’s in.

A release from the Conservative Party of Canada Tuesday announced a Harper government would commit even more resources to Canada’s failed war on drugs. With governments around the world acknowledging the untold billions spent on the war on drugs were wasted, with marijuana becoming legal (and a source of government revenue) in U.S. states, with political, medical and law enforcement officials across the country admitting it’s time to change Canada’s drug policies, rigid ideology prevents the Tories from changing course.

In making the announcement, Harper said “cracking down on illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse is a priority for our government.” That’s right: not jobs, not health care, not the environment – illegal drug use is the government’s priority.

The irony in all this is that the relentless attack ads aimed at Justin Trudeau by the Conservative Party ask: “legalizing marijuana – is that the biggest problem we have to solve?”

While the Liberals, NDP and Green Party focus on issues important to Canada’s future, Harper’s Conservatives just can’t let go of issues that most Canadians see as a distraction from the real problems facing the country.