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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN ON: Talking Pot With Bob Rae In London
Title:CN ON: Talking Pot With Bob Rae In London
Published On:2012-01-26
Source:London Community News (CN ON)
Fetched On:2012-01-28 06:03:43

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae made a stop at the BMO Centre, located
at Rectory Street, Friday (Jan. 20) to tell a room full of supporters
that there's still life in the party and a need for it in Canada.

"Liberalism is at it's best when it's a fighting philosophy because
of the things we believe in," Rae said to a room of about 250 people.
"Because we know there are some things we have to fight for."

The Toronto Centre MP went over points covered during last week's
Liberal convention in Ottawa that he believes will start the steps to
get the party back into the hearts of Canadians.

In May 2011 during the last federal election, the Liberals were only
elected to 34 seats in the House of Commons, losing 43.

Rae admitted the party needed to make changes. The quickest way to
those changes, Rae said, is getting a conversation started about what
Canadians want to see done with their country.

"We would come away from that conversation feeling that liberalism,
Canadian liberal ideas, have a lot to offer when it comes to all of
those things that are very strong and keen on people's minds," Rae said.

The former NDP member didn't directly comment about a recent motion
passed by Liberal's allowing people to join the party as a supporter
without having a membership, but Rae did say he wanted to open the
forum to all Canadians.

"We have to be opening up the doors to our party. It's not about two
or three people controlling the agenda, it's not about one person
saying here's the policies," Rae said. "It's got to be based on a
real conversation with people who are actively involved in the
political process and supporting the political party and that's what
we have to do."

Liberal delegates voting to support the legalization of marijuana is
one particular issue that has garnered attention from last week's
convention and Rae made sure to address it with his Forest City
supporters, telling them legalizing pot needs to be put into context.

"Does it really make sense to keep locking up kids and you know
adults smoke pot too," Rae said. "Does it really make sense to spend
billions of dollars trying to deal with this question anymore than it
makes sense to spend billions of dollars as we did 100 years ago
stopping people from drinking?"

Looking into the future of Liberal's, one young supporter asked Rae
what the youth can look forward to growing up in this country. His
question was met with cheers from everyone in the audience.

"Looking around and judging by the crowd here, I can definitely say I
feel like a minority as coming from the youth point of view," the
young supporter said, amongst a crowd of people mostly over 40.

Rae was quick to point out that over 1,000 youth delegates attended
the recent Liberal conference. Issues that matter to all ages, he
added, like the environment or education need to be a focus of Canadians.

"The people who are benefiting from the current pollution are the
people in this room and the people who will pay the price as global
warming goes up, it's not even you," Rae said, pointing to the young
supporter. "It's your children and your grandchildren."
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