Mr. Speaker, I am honoured and very proud to represent the people of Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.
When I was elected, I started touring my riding. In the spring, I visited our schools to explain what the Government of Canada was, the way it worked, and the process of passing a bill. Since at that time the Liberal Party had already introduced the possibility of passing a bill to legalize marijuana, that was the example of a bill that I used. We already had an idea of what this bill was, and I spoke about it openly, mostly to primary and secondary school students, as well as CEGEP students.
At some of these meetings I led in 10 different schools, I talked to 300 students between the ages of 12 and16 in an auditorium. I presented them the bill as it was written. I explained to them that it legalized the production of marijuana at home, among other things, and that it did not contain meaningful provisions addressing drug-impaired driving. In short, by discussing the various elements of the bill, I asked the students to tell me, by raising their hand, if they agreed with the legalization of marijuana.
To my amazement, 80% of the young people in my riding raised their hands to say they did not agree. These were not seniors in homes, these were students. I was stunned because I thought that the Prime Minister's sunny ways would have encouraged open-mindedness and the liberalization of pretty much everything. However, these young people unequivocally showed me that they did not at all agree with legalizing marijuana, for all kinds of reasons. This also gave us more opportunities for discussion.
That said, I was also able to meet with groups of seniors, including members of all the senior citizen clubs in my riding, and some groups of farm women. These women do a lot of work with young people, since they train them for all kinds of trades. All these groups are in daily contact with young people. They also told me unequivocally that they oppose the legalization of marijuana.
I have no words to describe the government’s level of hypocrisy with this bill, which would be in violation of three international treaties, among other things. The government claims to respect the UN and to abide by international treaties. It says that it works all over the world and that it has taken all sorts of steps to ensure international consistency, and yet this bill is in violation of three major international treaties on drug control. Apparently, that is no big deal.
Also, the Liberals keep on boasting that their actions are based on science and the facts. That is what they have been telling us non stop for the past two years, and yet, the science is quite clear—