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Justin Trudeau Outlaws Plastic Straws
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, listens during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Trudeau warned that demonstrators will face "real consequences" if they continue blockades in Ottawa and at the U.S. border, while using more conciliatory language in an attempt to help defuse the situation. Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canada continued its autocratic streak on Monday by banning plastic bags and straws.

“We promised to ban harmful single-use plastics, and we’re keeping that promise,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on social media. “The ban on the making and importing of plastic bags, cutlery, straws and other items comes into effect in December 2022 — and selling these items is prohibited as of December 2023.”

The ban extends to plastic checkout bags, cutlery, stir sticks, and straws with “some exceptions,” according to a press release, which notes that the provision will prevent 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste over the next decade.

“By the end of the year, you won’t be able to manufacture or import these harmful plastics,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault said. “After that, businesses will begin offering the sustainable solutions Canadians want, whether that’s paper straws or reusable bags. With these new regulations, we’re taking a historic step forward in reducing plastic pollution, and keeping our communities and the places we love clean.”

Similar initiatives have passed throughout the United States. Philadelphia started enforcing its plastic bag ban earlier this year, while San Francisco prohibited plastic straws and cutlery in 2019.

“It’s a movement not just happening in San Francisco but nationally and internationally,” Peter Gallotta, spokesman for San Francisco’s Department of Environment, said in 2018. “The larger elephant in the room is the single-use disposable culture we find ourselves in, and straws are the epitome of this unnecessary daily waste.”

At the time, Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro noted the absurdity of San Francisco’s move, especially given the city’s issues with crime and management of human waste.

More recently, Canada drew criticism for announcing a “national freeze” on handgun ownership — a move that came after a shooter killed 21 individuals at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. “What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada. In other words, we’re capping the market for handguns,” Trudeau said.

Earlier this year, Trudeau used emergency powers to discourage key organizers and participants in the Freedom Convoy protest — a movement of truckers and citizens who opposed Canada’s vaccine mandates and public health restrictions. Among other actions, the Canadian government declared no-go zones and froze truckers’ bank accounts.

Trudeau also accused Americans of encouraging the movement through fundraising and promoting gridlocks along the nations’ shared border. “President Biden and I both agreed that for the security of people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue,” he said. “So make no mistake: the border cannot, and will not stay closed.”

Meanwhile, the province of British Columbia received an exemption from the country’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, permitting the decriminalization of small quantities of illicit drugs — including opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. “All individuals found in possession of substances listed in the exemption of up to 2.5 grams for personal use will, at minimum, be provided with information on available local health and social services,” the Canadian government said. “They can also be provided with assistance to connect with those services if requested.”

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