Where does Sask.'s future premier stand on legal cannabis, the GTH?

Alanna Koch, Scott Moe, Ken Cheveldayoff, Tina Beaudry-Mellor and Gord Wyant are vying to fill the shoes of outgoing Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

CBC is compiling a list of where each Sask. Party leadership candidate stands on important issues

Saskatchewan Party members will vote for a new leader on Jan. 27, 2018. (Adam Hunter/CBC)

As the race to fill Brad Wall's shoes as the leader of the Saskatchewan Party, and premier of the province, approaches its final month, CBC is compiling a roundup of where candidates stand on key issues.

Here's what the five candidates in the race — one of whom will lead the province after Jan. 27 — think about legalization of recreational cannabis use and the controversy around the Global Transportation Hub.

Pot legalization

The federal government has said it wants to see the sale and recreational use of cannabis legalized by July 1 of next year, but it's left many of the details around regulation up to the provinces.

Ken Cheveldayoff says he's the candidate most opposed to the sale of legal cannabis in Saskatchewan. He wants a minimum age of 25 for the purchase of cannabis once that becomes legal.

"Some people say, 'Well, it should be the same [age] as alcohol,' and I've talked to some teachers who said if we have alcohol to do all over again, it would probably be 25 as well," he told CBC in November.

Ken Cheveldayoff said he thinks the legal age for marijuana should be 25. (CBC News)

Tina Beaudry-Mellor wants the legal age for pot to be 19, the same as alcohol.

"I'm going to advocate for this. We are a free-enterprise party," she said about cannabis legalization during a party debate in Swift Current, Sask., on Oct. 20.

"Licensing for growth, production and sales would be a request-for-proposal process to private sector entities that have the capacity to provide safety standards and quality assurance to medicinal and recreational dispensaries," she said in a campaign statement. 

Alanna Koch said the federal government has "rushed" through its cannabis legislation.

"The Trudeau Liberals did not allow enough time for the provinces to prepare properly for legalization therefore; we must work hard to guarantee the safety of the Saskatchewan people," her campaign website states.

Alanna Koch thinks the federal government has 'rushed' legislation on pot. (CBC)

Gord Wyant said during the Oct. 20 debate the province needs more time and resources to prepare for legalization. During his time as justice minister, he penned a letter to Ottawa expressing '"real concerns" about the federal government's legislation.

He also said setting the legal age of consumption at 25 when the legal drinking age is 19 would be counterproductive.

Scott Moe called for more time from Ottawa in order to prepare for the effects of cannabis legalization and said the request to share tax revenue from pot sales is "disturbing."

"The provinces will need that taxation to ensure that we're able to keep this out of the hands of our children, to ensure that we're able to enforce and keep our streets safe and keep our industries safe here in the province."

Scott Moe says provinces will need the tax revenue generated by the legal sale of pot. (CBC)

Global Transportation Hub

The Global Transportation Hub has been a source of controversy since an RCMP investigation was launched in the spring of 2016, after CBC broke the story about a series of land transactions that saw two politically well-connected businessmen make millions on land that wound up in the hands of the government.

Ken Cheveldayoff says if he were elected, he would sell the GTH into the hands of the private sector.

"I believe we would be able to demonstrate to Saskatchewan residents that their tax dollars would be recovered," he said in a campaign statement issued in September.

'I think it's very important that the people of Saskatchewan get the answers that they deserve' on the GTH issue, Gord Wyant says. (CBC News)

Former attorney general Gord Wyant said he would call a public inquiry into the province's role in the multimillion-dollar land deal.

"I think it's very important that the people of Saskatchewan get the answers that they deserve on this matter," Wyant said back in September.

Tina Beaudry-Mellor said she supports a judicial inquiry into the GTH land deal. 

"I believe it is important the RCMP investigation that is currently underway be allowed to complete its work before an inquiry is launched," she said in a campaign statement.

Sask. Party leadership candidate Tina Beaudry-Mellor says she supports an inquiry into the GTH, but thinks the RCMP investigation should be completed first. (CBC News)

Scott Moe said he wouldn't stand in the way of an audit or public inquiry, but would decide what to do after the RCMP completes its investigation and the findings are made public. 

Alanna Koch recently told CBC Radio's Blue Sky that "with respect to the public inquiry, I've indicated that I want to see the results of the RCMP investigation.

"Let's wait and see what occurs as a result of that investigation and then we would take appropriate action from there," she said, adding a public inquiry would be time consuming and costly to taxpayers.


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