Madam Speaker, first of all, if we want to make a case for people not getting in trouble at the border, then their not having a criminal record in Canada would be the right start. The proper approach would be to advocate to our counterparts in the United States to also delete the records, letting them know that as cannabis is now legal in Canada, and as these people have not, in the eyes of Canadian law, committed any crime, they should not be in any U.S. database for having committed a crime in Canada.
That was part of our frustration in regard to not only USMCA negotiations but other international negotiations between Canada and the United States. This issue was not being brought up, and the Liberal government did not get any guarantee or any reassurance from the United States government that it would not unfairly penalize Canadians who either have a record or have simply smoked pot.
We think the United States policy on this is completely unreasonable, and the answer is not to try to cohere better with the unreasonable policy of the Americans. The answer is to have a clear, consistent policy that makes sense here and then advocate for our American counterparts to reflect that.
The current plan is a sign of the attitude of contrition we so often get from the Liberals when it comes to the United States.