Canada’s Navy Blues

A gram of dried marijuana bud on the street sells for about $10 and Health Canada projects the legal stuff will average about $7.60 next year, as producers set prices without interference from government. Chuck Rifici of Tweed Inc. has applied for a licence to produce medical weed in an abandoned Hershey chocolate factory in hard-scrabble Smiths Falls, Ont. Rifici, who is also a senior adviser to Trudeau, was cited in a Conservative cabinet minister’s news release Friday that said the Liberals plan to “push pot,” with no reference to Health Canada’s own encouragement of marijuana entrepreneurs. Rifici says he’s trying to help a struggling community by providing jobs while giving suffering patients a quality product. “There’s a real need,” he said in an interview. “You see what this medicine does to them.” Tweed Inc. proposes to produce at least 20 strains to start, and will reserve 10 per cent of production for compassionate, low-cost prescriptions for impoverished patients, he says. Patients often use several grams a day to alleviate a wide range of symptoms, including cancer-related pain and nausea. They’ll no longer be allowed to grow it for themselves under the new rules. Revenues for the burgeoning new industry are expected to hit $1.3 billion a year by 2024, according to federal projections.

Theyre not very quick. They cant follow ships that are bringing illegal immigrants. In other words, theyre coastal defence vessels that cant defend the coasts. The fortunes of Canadas Navy are set to improve, eventually. In 2011, the federal government did announce a massive, $35-billion investment in new warships and support vessels set to roll out over the next three decades. First off the line in 2015, assuming everything stays on schedule, will be the Arctic and offshore patrol ship set to replace the Kingston class. In time, the Navy will build a new supply ship and replacements for its current fleet of destroyers and frigates. However, Canadas shoddy track record of military procurement, be it ships, fighter jets, helicopters or subs, doesnt inspire confidence that the new vessels will sail on time. David McDonough, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, says that, given shifting tensions in the Pacific and the spate of problems facing Canadas Navy there, a moderate shift of resources from the Atlantic to the Pacificincluding all of the Navys submarinesmakes sense. In his mind, it comes down to mathematics. If you only have one [supply] ship on each coast for the foreseeable future, and an accident happens, you have to rely on submarines for any expeditionary operation, he says. Surface ships can last 12 days. Submarines can probably last a month without any sort of replenishment. Focusing any transfer of resources on submarines also helps avoid the political fallout that would come with moving surface vessels.

Canada’s Olympic red-mittens craze spreads south of the border

29. They’ll go for $14 a pair on the USOC website. Proceeds from the sales will help U.S. athletes on their way to Sochi, Russia. USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky acknowledges this isn’t the first time the United States has borrowed an idea from its neighbours to the north. The USOC hopes the mittens will be as big a hit for the U.S. team as they were for Canada. The popular all-red original mittens were a phenomenon during the Vancouver Olympics, with shoppers snatching up the patriotic fashion accessory with such enthusiasm that the trend even reached Oprah Winfrey, who distributed the mitts to her studio audience. _With files from The Canadian Press. USOC With a threatened government shutdown just hours away, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee on Monday accused Speaker John Boehner of abdicating leadership on key budget issues to freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas.