January 22, 2013 - 3:27 PM
Federal Liberal leadership hopeful Martha Hall Findlay wants to legalize marijuana, something she says could be a big economic benefit to Vernon, where she will be speaking tonight.
Hall Findlay says she's making time for some smaller cities in her cross country tour, adding her goal is to meet as many people, in as many communities, as possible.
Having lived at times in rural communities, Hall Findlay says she has a perspective on issues that other candidates may not.
"Like cut-backs in bus services," she says, noting it deals a particularly heavy blow to rural communities. "That's a big deal."
And one that she'll be keeping her eye on as Greyhound makes changes to its service. "We don't have a national transportation strategy," she says.
"It's important to talk to the people who are affected," she says. "Somebody from the big city isn't going to understand these issues."
Another area that affects Vernon—in a good way, Hall Findlay says—would be the legalization of marijuana.
"It's a large part of the Vernon economy."
She says not only decriminalizing it, but legalizing it, would turn the sale of marijuana into a legitimate, and safe, business.
"With decriminalization, you're not dealing with the bigger problems, like trafficking. Full legalization means it can be regulated, and I would absolutely push for that."
She says it's easier for kids to get pot than alcohol, something that would change with legalization. Her mother always told her prohibition of alcohol didn't work, and Hall Findlay says marijuana is no different.
Frustrations with the policies of the current government don't end with marijuana. Hall Findlay has strong views on the Idle No More movement as well.
"It's so frustrating that it was only six years ago there was the Kelowna Accord. It had clear financial goals and aims for health for aboriginal groups. That was a huge legacy."
But, ultimately, the agreement was squashed with Stephen Harper at the helm.
"He apologized, but it was all just talk," she says. "If we can regain the respect and cooperation of the Kelowna Accord, we can accomplish a great deal."
She says the values of the Liberal party have become somewhat diluted, and she aims to clarify them.
"The Liberal party has tried to be too many things and has ended up being nothing," she says. "We have to prove we can be a smart, substantive, courageous leadership."
She believes Canada needs a strong alternative to Harper.
"I want the Liberals to be that alternative."
Hall Findlay will be at Vernon's Los Huesos restaurant tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Justin Trudeau will be speaking at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus tonight from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the University Centre Ballroom. InfoTel News covered his talk in Kamloops, last night.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013