Peter principle

Published on June 20, 2014

Peter MacKay is the luckiest man in the world. He is the undisputed poster boy for lying, deceitful politicians, but never seems to pay a price for it.

One can only assume he earned this immunity with his first big lie, his promise to fellow Progressive Conservative leadership candidate David Orchard in 2003 not to negotiate a merger with Stephen Harper’s Canadian Alliance Party. Ever since, he has sailed through a steady stream of prevarications and mistruths without earning even a timid rap on the knuckles.

“No one in Canadian history has told a bigger whopper to Canadians than the minister of defence did on the true cost to taxpayers of the

F-35 program,” iPolitics’ Michael Harris wrote in 2012, describing MacKay’s false cost estimates for the proposed jet fighter purchase.

Then there are the silly little stunts, like his search-and-rescue airlift from a fishing camp in Newfoundland. MacKay said it was a planned training exercise. Internal documents proved it wasn’t.

These days, MacKay is pulling a fast one over Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s stance on legalizing marijuana.

The Conservatives have been trying to paint Trudeau as someone who wants marijuana to be more accessible to children. No matter how naïve or misguided you may think Trudeau’s ideas are, however, teen marijuana use is one thing he does not endorse.

On Twitter Wednesday, Peter MacKay posted a YouTube link with the following message: “As a parent, I oppose @Justin Trudeau’s plan to make dangerous drugs more accessible to children.”

It’s unclear whether MacKay expected followers to actually watch the YouTube video. Because if they did, they would realize Trudeau’s message was exactly the opposite.

“The one thing we can certainly agree on is that the current approach is not working,” the Liberal leader says to a small group of home-grown marijuana advocates. “The current prohibition has left us with a higher rate of use of marijuana in our teens than any developed country around the world. Don’t let anyone tell you that legalization is going to allow for easier access for our young people to marijuana than we have right now. It can’t get any easier than right now. It’s easier to buy a joint than it is to buy a bottle of beer for a teenager.”

Trudeau then touches on the topic of home-grown pot before finishing with the following:

“This is the kind of approach we need to take, one grounded in evidence, one grounded in science, one grounded in liberty, in the freedom of people to make choices, but that at the same time does a better job of protecting the developing brain of our young people from exposure to harmful substances. … Unfortunately, marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes have a much greater impact on the developing brain than they do on adults, and therefore we need to protect our kids from them.”

More accessible to kids? Hard to see how MacKay arrived at that interpretation.

Given his poor track record for speaking the truth, perhaps he has trouble hearing it as well.