A Halifax law professor says Canada’s attempt to craft a legalized marijuana regime may have been given a shot in the arm by the move of four more U.S. states to approve recreational use of the drug. Archie Kaiser says it may give the government more ammunition as it navigates around the fact Canada has signed three international conventions that require criminalization of the production and possession of cannabis. Kaiser says strength in numbers could make it easier for Canada argue that legalization is the best way to reduce harm. The four latest states to take the first step toward legalization of pot join Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Oregon and Washington, which have already done so.
TRUMP CASTS SHADOW OVER CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP DEBATE: Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch says she’s not endorsing U-S president-elect Donald Trump, but says they share ideas on immigration. Leitch used the party’s first leadership debate to promote her controversial call to screen immigrants for “Canadian values.” The Ontario MP said during the Saskatoon debate that only one in 10 people coming to Canada sees a trained immigration officer. However some of Leitch’s rivals took her to task, with rival MP Deepak Obhrai telling reporters afterward that Trump’s immigration ideas have no place in Canada.
OTTAWA TO REOPEN NS VETERANS OFFICE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be on hand today in Sydney, N.S. to reopen a Veterans Affairs office. The former Conservative government closed the office along with several others to save money. Protests were held in Sydney to try to persuade the Tories to reconsider. The new office will employ 15 staff who will serve approximately 2,200 veterans.
Richard Van Neste was one of thousands of Canadians who fought on the battlefields of Europe during the First World War. The father of six emigrated from Belgium but decided to return and fight to liberate his homeland, joining the Canadian army in 1916. He was shot in the leg during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 and died of his wound. His grandson Hubert Verbuggen has self-published a biography of his grandfather, based on family documents.