Conservative Wave Sweeping Canada as Recreational Marijuana Bill Passes
Provincial politics is rapidly changing across Canada. More specifically, the pendulum is swinging to the right. Last night, Conservative leader Doug Ford won a historic election in Ontario, Canada’s largest Province, by population. Not only did Ford’s Progressive Conservatives win by a huge margin, but the outgoing Liberals won a pathetic seven seats. They fell one seat short of the eight seats required to retain their “recognized party” status.
“It’s the first time in its 161-year history that the Liberal party has lost official status.”
For the Province of Ontario, Canada’s economic engine, this is a big deal.
In April of 2016, the province of Manitoba saw its Progressive Conservatives win a majority government in historic fashion. They unseated the New Democrats, which had been in office since 1999. According to CBC, “the last time the old Conservative Party in Manitoba took a majority of ballots cast was over a century ago.”
So, we have historic wins from Manitoba to Ontario. With Saskatchewan already run by Conservatives, and Alberta voting next year, the blue wave of conservatism from the Rockies to the Great Lakes will be complete. In recent polls support amoung decided voters tops out above 50% for Alberta’s conservatives. The oil-producing province is poised to boot out its current NDP leaders. Canada will likely have close to 65% of its population living under conservative leadership by next year.
Recreational Cannabis Moving Forward Despite Provincial Conservative Wins
While new Conservative Premier’s may be taking over Provincially, the Federal government is run by the Liberal Party who still enjoy a majority.
Led by Justin Trudeau, the Liberal government passed landmark legislation yesterday to lift Canada’s 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis. Conservatives were largely against the legislation, but the Liberals cruised to a 56-30 victory, with one abstention.
Provincial Conservative Takeover Spooks Some Weed Investors
After being down nearly 4% early Friday, the Canadian Marijuana Index had a quiet day, closing down 1.1% to 654.68. The index is well above its April and May lows below 600, but is a far cry from the 1,000 level of late 2017 and early 2018.
As investors in Canada’s booming marijuana sector, there is only one question we should be asking: how will the rise of provincial conservative parties affect the space?
The reality is it will take until September or October for the Feds to fully legalizing recreational cannabis nationwide. As explained in, Liquidity Dries up on TSX Venture,
“This may provide another catalyst for new marijuana-related stocks on the TSX Venture.”
So, on the topic of marijuana legalization, what is the stance of Canada’s newest premier in Ontario?
In Doug Ford wants free market for cannabis in Ontario, CBC asked him just that:
“Q: What are your plans for regulation and enforcement for marijuana when it becomes legal? Would you privatize pot stores?
A: We’re going down a path that no one really knows. I have been open to a fair market and letting the markets dictate. I don’t like the government controlling anything no matter what it is…. I’m open to a free market and I’m going to consult with our caucus…. I don’t believe in the government sticking their hands in our lives all the time. I believe in letting the market dictate.”
Ford Open to Change and Potential LCBO Rollout
According to a Vice article on the topic,
“Ford seemed to backtrack on his earlier position, noting that he too would go with an LCBO rollout.”
LCBO stands for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). It is a Crown corporation that retails and distributes alcoholic beverages. Some people from the medical community have spoken out about the risks of selling marijuana at LCBOs.
“We don’t want cannabis sold in corner stores, we want to make sure there’s a controlled rollout. Kids’ safety is the top priority and undercutting the black market.”
So, the rollout is on. Governments, especially Ontario whose net debt, is projected to be $325 billion this year, are desperate for the tax revenue recreational cannabis could bring. Doug Ford knows this as well as anyone.