Rolling Back the Nanny State
It is not the legitimate role of government to protect self-sufficient adults from themselves.
The Government of Alberta will roll-back laws and regulations designed to protect self-sufficient adults from themselves while balancing the need to protect minors, the vulnerable, and adults from the actions of others.
The government will create a task force to seek input and identify laws and regulations only designed to protect adults from themselves. Upon compiling the list, the government will consult with the public to determine which of the identified laws and regulations can be reasonably repealed or amended.
Alcohol Licensing: Licensing laws and regulations in Alberta are an outlier in most of North America and Europe for their stringency and rigidity. Responsible adults at present are treated as teenagers at best, and criminals at worst. Key areas of focus will be:
- Responsible consumption on public property, such as having a bottle of wine at a picnic in a public park.
- Easing restrictions on responsible consumption at public events such as music and street festivals.
- Reassessing forced closing times of bars and pubs on a local basis to reduce the number of patrons flooding out of bars at the same time, and the associated law enforcement costs.
- Home distilling: Many Albertans choose to brew their own beer or ferment their own wine at home, but home distillation of spirits is still illegal. The prohibition on home distilling should be repealed and replaced with common sense regulations to ensure safety.
- Marijuana legalization: Marijuana should be safely legalized and regulated. The focus of Alberta’s regulation should be to ensure that products sold are safe, that it does not increase use among minors, and that reasonable taxation levels will not perpetuate the black market.
- Flavored Tobacco: The flavored tobacco ban should be geared towards keeping tobacco products off of the market that are designed to target minors, yet the blanket ban on all flavored tobacco includes products that are clearly intended for adults.
- Mandatory helmets for adults on ATVs: While most responsible, adult ATV users do wear a helmet, a blanket requirement is not reasonable. Hunters in some circumstances cannot quickly dismount and remove their helmets in the time required to conduct their hunt; nor is it reasonable to require helmets by law for adults at slow speeds. Government policy should focus on education for smart ATV use and not the force of the law.
The government should assist in educating adults as to what actions are in their best interests from a health and safety perspective, but should stop short of using the power of fines and imprisonment to force adults to comply.