Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer smoked marijuana as a young adult, but still opposes the Liberal government’s plan to legalize the drug, his office says.
Mr. Scheer made the admission on a popular Quebec television show on Sunday, on which co-host Dany Turcotte also invited Mr. Scheer to this summer’s gay pride parade in Montreal.
Mr. Scheer is rejecting that offer, said Jake Enwright, director of media relations for the Official Opposition leader.
“Andrew is appreciative of the invitation by Mr. Turcotte. He will not be attending this event, but the Conservative Party of Canada will be well represented,” Mr. Enwright told The Globe and Mail. He added that Mr. Scheer is working to help persecuted gay men in Chechnya, opposes the reintegration to Canadian society of Islamic State terrorists who attack homosexuals and supported the Prime Minister’s apology to the LGBTQ community in the House of Commons.
On the French-language talk show Tout Le Monde En Parle on Sunday, Mr. Scheer was peppered with questions on issues such as abortion, gay rights, gun control, climate change and cannabis.
Half-way through, host Guy A. Lepage asked Mr. Scheer whether he will celebrate the legalization of marijuana by smoking a joint.
“No,” Mr. Scheer said with an embarrassed laugh.
Mr. Turcotte then piped in with a follow-up: “Have you ever smoked?”
“So…” Mr. Scheer said, flushing and pausing to take a sip from his glass of wine. “I hope my father is not watching this show. … When I was young, yes.”
Mr. Scheer said he will look at what happens once the government’s legislation to legalize the drug, Bill C-45, is adopted to decide whether he would recriminalize it if the Conservatives win the next election.