How Does Canada’s Government Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis?

Note: while preparing this article, the Public Service Alliance of Canada reached a tentative contract agreement with the Treasury Board. However, this agreement does not cover all striking workers.

How does Canada’s government bureaucrat strike affect cannabis?

Canada is facing the largest federal work strike since 1991. The public sector union representing 155,000 bureaucrats wants a 13.5% raise over three years (despite losing nothing from the past three years of government-ordered shutdowns of the private sector).

They also want “work from home” permanently entrenched and bonus pay for having to work past 4 pm. Keep in mind that these people didn’t anticipate and poorly managed Canada’s post-covid passport surge.

They also can’t handle an employment insurance backlog. Yet, they want your money to pay for “unconscious bias” training and a “social justice” fund on top of all the time off and sick days they get.

The ongoing strike means military bases are going without heat and water. First Nation reserves (controlled by Ottawa) have seen school and health centre closures.

It also means striking protesters are blocking roads and other infrastructure. So clearly, it’s just a matter of days until the Trudeau government implements the Emergency Act and freezes their bank accounts.

(Oh, that’s only for protesting WEF narratives? Okay, got it).

Unsurprisingly, the bureaucrat strike is getting little support from average Canadians.

Under Justin Trudeau, the so-called “public sector” has an additional $20 billion. That’s a 50% increase. The largest employer in Canada is the government. They have cushy pensions and access to benefits the private sector can only dream of.

Government services have shut down because of the strike. Yet, most Canadians haven’t even noticed the change. Open or closed, it’s business as usual at the passport office.

But what about cannabis? How does Canada’s government bureaucrat strike affect cannabis?

How Does Canada’s Government Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis?

How Does Canada's Government Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis?

The feds control cannabis in Canada via Health Canada. So how does the bureaucrat strike affect cannabis?

A Health Canada spokesperson told CLN, “At the present time, some services related to the regulation of cannabis may have some delays but are being maintained.”

They suggested we check this website for updates.

Many producers may welcome a bureaucrat strike that affects cannabis. It would get Ottawa off their backs for a bit.

As we’ve covered before – we don’t really need Health Canada, especially regarding cannabis regulations. And this strike provides us with an opportunity to return to this issue on two fronts.

One is why regulation is not a “natural monopoly” that the government needs to control preemptively.

And second, why giving bureaucrats more taxpayer money does not contribute to the economy. (In fact, it is detrimental and distorts the productive, private economy).

So let’s attack these two positions head-on. As we’ll see, whether or not the bureaucratic strike affects cannabis, Canada doesn’t need government regulation of cannabis.

Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis? They Better Hope Not 

Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis? They Better Hope Not

The striking bureaucrat better hopes the strike doesn’t affect cannabis. It may get Canada’s cannabis community finally united and pushing back against federal encroachment.

In the meantime, consider what Health Canada does. Ask yourself: does this regulation promote crony capitalism or provide Canadians with health and safety?


Health Canada is not an accreditation agency operating in an open, competitive market. They have no incentives to provide high-quality (or even low-quality) services to their “clients.”

They can’t adapt and change to new market conditions and technological developments on the fly. The “clients” can’t withdraw their financial support if left unsatisfied with the services.

Health Canada doesn’t have the same freedom as the private sector to experiment and try new approaches. Nor is Health Canada free from political involvement, like corruption and rent-seeking.

Look at how Health Canada – as instructed by the feds – handled cannabis licensing. Former cops and politicians were first in line, while B.C. Bud’s farmer community was “organized crime” until they finally got around to issuing “micro” licenses.

Monitoring and Enforcement

In Canada’s cannabis community, there is a bit of division between “corporate” guys who try to play by the rules and the “illicit” element that claims the other side has sold out.

However, both groups routinely criticize Health Canada’s regulation of cannabis. If the bureaucrat strike were to affect cannabis, these two groups would likely grow closer.

As George Smitherman told CLN, if you decide to play by the rules and get licensed, “the regulators and the lawmakers have nothing but attention for you.”

Again, we can see how private certification and accreditation can establish third-party verification to ensure compliance.

As well, private arbitration can settle disputes and enforce contractual obligations. Most industries already use private dispute resolutions outside government litigation. 

A dispute resolution organization can be tailored to the specific needs of the cannabis industry.

Quality Control 

quality control

At this point, shouldn’t the burden of proof be on the one making the case for government bureaucracy? Between the history books and basic economics, anyone denying the efficiency of markets is an ideologue.

Even Pierre-Joseph “property is theft” Proudhon made peace with markets. (Or at least a more nuanced approach to capitalism).

Suppose Canada’s government bureaucrat strike affected cannabis. 

Taxpayers would no longer be on the hook for ensuring Canada’s cannabis products meet specific standards. We’d be shifting the cost to cannabis businesses and consumers.

As in the actual stakeholders in the industry. The businesses that don’t want to sell cannabis ladened with heavy metals and solvents. And the consumers who do not want to buy cannabis with these contaminants. 

Public Education

If the government bureaucrat strike affected cannabis, Canadians would no longer be subject to misinformation about cannabis’ alleged links to mental health issues.

Without Health Canada, Canadians may learn that – instead of causing it – cannabis, in fact, helps mitigate anxiety and schizophrenia.

Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis? Bring it On

Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis
Photo by Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen

The federal bureaucrat strike, whether it affects cannabis or not, is an excellent opportunity to point out the poor economic arguments the union is making.

Consider the primary rationale for wanting more of your money:

Wages that public sector employees spend make their way throughout the productive economy instead of being squirrelled away as private company profits.

Or that, when the “public sector” is paid well and given all kinds of benefits and thick pensions, that somehow encourages the private sector to do the same.

As if it were government workers setting our standard of living. That, without them, those evil capitalists would have us working 15+ hours a day for dimes and scraps of bread.

But consider the union’s rejection of savings and investment as engines for growth. They believe the consuming public drives the economy; ergo, it’s morally permissible to steal money from “hoarders” and give it to people who will spend it.

To make this argument, you have to ignore the following:

Capital accumulation

Savings and investment allow for the accumulation of capital goods that are mandatory for a healthy economy. You don’t get consumer goods without machinery, equipment, and investments in infrastructure. 

And capital is continually decaying; it requires upkeep. 

Capital increases the efficiency and productivity of labour. This leads to higher output and economic growth. 


Savings and investment fund research and development. If we had adopted the union’s economics in the 1980s, our cell phones would still be the size of bricks. 

(Assuming the supply chain hasn’t completely collapsed with everyone going out and spending 100% of their income instead of saving or investing it.)


Canada's Government Bureaucrat Strike Affect Cannabis
Reject Statism. Read Rothbard.

Entrepreneurs, especially young ones just starting without much capital, must save every dollar they can.

It’s bad enough the Canadian government undermines them with capital gains taxes and other excessive ways to extract wealth and ensure the nation’s productivity remains low.

And then, on top of all that, to take their profits and redistribute them to federal bureaucrats to spend on consumer goods? 

Most Canadians have yet to hear of Murray Rothbard. But if there were a group that needed his books more than anyone, it would be these striking federal bureaucrats. 

Every saved dollar is a dollar released from consumption and thereby (ceteris paribus) an addition to capital; and it is capital that determines the supply of wage rates, the rate of return on investment, and the rate of growth of the economy.