Why are anglo potheads being shut out? Why does the Quebec auto insurance board think that English-speaking drivers don’t need some lessons on driving under the influence?

Sounds funny, I know, but here’s the thing.  The SAAQ is quite rightly doing an ad campaign to warn younger drivers of the dangers of driving and ganja. But you won’t see it on English TV – French only. To be fair, there is some English radio, but once again the government is ignoring a huge segment of the population.  

It’s not the first time it has happened with the SAAQ. They did something similar with texting and driving not long ago.  English texters were given the short shrift. I pay the exact same for registration and my licence as the guy in Lac-Saint-Jean and I deserve equal public service announcements.

It seems the Quebec government will bend over backwards to reach anglos when money is involved. Revenue Quebec, Loto Quebec and even the SAQ will serve us in our language. Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

Sometimes on matters of public interest we are best seen but not heard – which brings us to the pot issue itself. 

The government’s proposed legislation is clumsy and not properly thought out. It seems more of a question of fulfilling an election promise than anything else.  

Under the bill, if a 17-year-old smokes a joint in your house, you could be sent to jail for 14 years. That’s silly. It will continue arresting and prosecuting Canadians for recreational use for at least another year. And no blanket pardon for those convicted of relatively minor possession offences in the past. 

But a bigger issue is age. This week, the Canadian Psychiatric Association issued a warning that just because pot will be legal does not mean it’s safe for young Canadians. It recommends Canadians should not have legal access until the age of 21. It is believed it can be particularly harmful to developing brains.  And what if you have four plants in your home not the legal three? Again, silliness. 

Let’s hope that between now and pot freedom day next year, there is some sober second thought about how to proceed. Too many unanswered questions.

We’ve been overbilled

At least some people are trying to get Hydro-Quebec to do the right thing for overbilling us $1.4 billion over eight years.

A new coalition appropriately named “Let’s Get Our Money Back From Hydro-Quebec” is planning a class action suit demanding refunds for all Quebecers.

 One organizer says the raison d’etre of Hydro was to benefit the population, not make us poorer.

 Hydro knew about the overbilling for years but continued to seek rate increases from the Energy Board. That is inexcusable. I don’t know about you, but I could use a $350 cheque along with a little note of apology. But don’t hold your breath. And don’t expect to be kissed first. We never are.