Toronto
1 min

Pushing pot

Grit's brain is stuck on puffing

REVERSAL. Dalton McGuinty voted no to spousal rights. Credit: Xtra files

Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty wants to talk about something he has absolutely no power to control.



In an interview granted before the Ontario election call, McGuinty says he wants the feds to decriminalize the medical use of marijuana.



“There is something fundamentally perverse about criminalizing people who are using marijuana for medical purposes. That issue needs to be addressed,” McGuinty says.



Of course, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed by the federal government, which has jurisdiction over such criminal matters.



On health care, McGuinty says the Tories have gone too far with cutbacks and people are suffering. He says health care is a safety net everyone should have access to.



“People suffering with AIDS or living with HIV should be given every opportunity to enjoy the highest quality of life they can.”



McGuinty also reaffirms his commitment to passing legislation securing equal rights for homos.



McGuinty says same-sex couples must be given the same rights as hetero pairings.



“I think it’s important for us to make this law in Ontario. It’s important for us to make it clear to all Ontarians that it’s wrong to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.”



In 1994, the then-New Democratic Party government introduced legislation which would have granted spousal rights. All but three Liberals voted against it, and it failed to pass.



McGuinty says that will not happen in his party. “I would do whatever it takes to have this law passed. I am committed to having it passed during our first mandate,” he says.



Yet McGuinty voted against Bill 167.



Today, the Liberal leader says he’s changed his mind. “I hope that people can appreciate a learning experience, understand good leadership. This is an important issue to me and I am unwavering on it.”