Cannabis Act

An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts

Sponsor

Status

Report stage (House), as of Nov. 9, 2017

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Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment enacts the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.

The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.

The Act

(a) establishes criminal prohibitions such as the unlawful sale or distribution of cannabis, including its sale or distribution to young persons, and the unlawful possession, production, importation and exportation of cannabis;

(b) enables the Minister to authorize the possession, production, distribution, sale, importation and exportation of cannabis, as well as to suspend, amend or revoke those authorizations when warranted;

(c) authorizes persons to possess, sell or distribute cannabis if they are authorized to sell cannabis under a provincial Act that contains certain legislative measures;

(d) prohibits any promotion, packaging and labelling of cannabis that could be appealing to young persons or encourage its consumption, while allowing consumers to have access to information with which they can make informed decisions about the consumption of cannabis;

(e) provides for inspection powers, the authority to impose administrative monetary penalties and the ability to commence proceedings for certain offences by means of a ticket;

(f) includes mechanisms to deal with seized cannabis and other property;

(g) authorizes the Minister to make orders in relation to matters such as product recalls, the provision of information, the conduct of tests or studies, and the taking of measures to prevent non-compliance with the Act;

(h) permits the establishment of a cannabis tracking system for the purposes of the enforcement and administration of the Act;

(i) authorizes the Minister to fix, by order, fees related to the administration of the Act; and

(j) authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting such matters as quality, testing, composition, packaging and labelling of cannabis, security clearances and the collection and disclosure of information in respect of cannabis as well as to make regulations exempting certain persons or classes of cannabis from the application of the Act.

This enactment also amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to, among other things, increase the maximum penalties for certain offences and to authorize the Minister to engage persons having technical or specialized knowledge to provide advice. It repeals item 1 of Schedule II and makes consequential amendments to that Act as the result of that repeal.

In addition, it repeals Part XII.‍1 of the Criminal Code, which deals with instruments and literature for illicit drug use, and makes consequential amendments to that Act.

It amends the Non-smokers’ Health Act to prohibit the smoking and vaping of cannabis in federally regulated places and conveyances.

Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
June 8, 2017 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (reasoned amendment)
June 6, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:20 a.m.
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Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in support of Bill C-45, an act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.

I think all members will agree that protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a key priority for all orders of government in Canada. With this in mind, on April 13, Bill C-45 was introduced in the House. Its goal is the creation of a strict national framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis in Canada. The bill would provide for legal access to cannabis where adults could obtain it through an appropriate legal framework, sourced from a strictly regulated industry or by growing it safely and in limited amounts at home.

The bill would also establish safeguards to protect youth, including prohibiting the sale or distribution of cannabis to anyone under 18 and restricting marketing and advertising activities geared towards youth.

Growers and manufacturers of cannabis would require a federal licence and be subject to a strict oversight regime intended to control product safety and quality, and to prevent diversion to the illegal market. Effective oversight and control of cannabis cannot be achieved by working in isolation from our partners in the provinces, territories, and municipalities.

From the outset, our government has been clear that the control and regulation of cannabis requires a pan-Canadian approach, involving all orders of government, at all stages of development and implementation. This reality is reflected in the important role that our provincial and territorial partners played in the work of the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation.

The task force was established in June 2016 with a mandate to provide advice to the federal government on how to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis. Input from the provinces and territories, as well as from indigenous communities, was essential to the successful work of the task force.

The provinces and territories nominated experts to serve on the task force, and made suggestions as to who should be consulted. These individuals met with the task force, and shared their views on cannabis legalization and regulation and on how best to achieve our shared objectives of better protecting public health and safety.

It should come as no surprise that the input from the provinces and territories was instrumental in shaping many important provisions of Bill C-45.

Consistent with the task force report, Bill C-45 proposes a shared framework for the control and regulation of cannabis that would require ongoing federal, provincial, and territorial collaboration. The bill sets out clear controls and standards around cannabis, and provides flexibility for each government to work within their own jurisdictional authority and experience. Those who are best placed to implement each aspect of the framework would do so.

At this time, I would like to explain how the various roles and responsibilities would be shared between our governments, beginning with the federal role. Bill C-45 proposes that the federal government would be responsible for establishing and maintaining a national framework for regulating the production of cannabis, setting standards for health and safety, and establishing criminal prohibitions.

This would include establishing restrictions on adult access to cannabis and serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal system; creating rules to limit how cannabis or cannabis accessories could be promoted, packaged, labelled, and displayed, in line with the rules in place for tobacco products; instituting a federal licensing regime for cannabis production that would draw on lessons learned from the current system for access to cannabis for medical purposes; establishing industry-wide rules and standards, for example, serving sizes or potency limits, as well as a tracking of cannabis to prevent diversion to the illegal market; creating minimum federal conditions to provide a national framework to protect public health and public safety; and enforcing cannabis importation and exportation prohibitions at the border, except when legally authorized.

At the same time, Bill C-45 recognizes that provinces and territories and municipalities have a key role to play in the new system.

The legislation would respect that provinces and territories, together with municipalities, have the authority to tailor certain rules in their own jurisdictions and enforce them through a range of tools, including administrative sanctions. Consistent with the recommendations from the task force, the provinces and territories, working with municipalities, would be able to establish rules with respect to where cannabis-based businesses could be located within a community, and also where cannabis could be consumed in public.

Provinces and territories could also set additional requirements to address issues of local concern. For example, provincial and territorial legislatures would have the authority to set a higher minimum age for cannabis possession. Provinces and territories could also set more restrictive limits on possession or personal cultivation, including lowering the number of plants or restricting where they may be cultivated.

Thus, Bill C-45 is drafted in such a way as to provide the provinces and territories with the ability to establish stricter rules under their own authorities.

We are pleased to see that the provinces and territories are already taking action to prepare for the legalization and regulation of cannabis. From coast to coast to coast, provinces and territories are continuing the conversation with Canadians about how best to regulate the sale and distribution of cannabis in their towns, cities, and communities.

While provinces and territories will decide on a system that responds to their particular circumstances, it is clear that all jurisdictions share our government's responsibilities to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, to shut out organized crime, and to protect public health and safety. This is true for all orders of government.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Madam Speaker, having served with my colleague across the way from Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and being the only two non-lawyers on the committee, I know that he is a very common-sense and practical kind of person. Therefore, my question to him is this. Does the legislation really meet the objectives that the Liberals have stated, that is, to minimize the access that youth would have to cannabis? Does he believe that allowing every household in Canada to have four mature marijuana plants would minimize the exposure and access that youth would have to cannabis?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:25 a.m.
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Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I also appreciate serving on the justice and human rights committee with the hon. member for Provencher.

In answer to his question as to whether the legislation would serve to protect Canadians and youth, absolutely. It also recognizes the role of parental responsibility in households in the same way that parents and adults in a household now protect their children from access to alcohol that may be widely present in the home. If there is cannabis present or being grown in the home, it would still be part of that parental responsibility to maintain control in a responsible way, just as parents do when looking after their children, and as they will do throughout their lives.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.
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NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, I lived in Lincoln Park in Port Coquitlam for 10 years, and I still have friends who live there. I know how important this issue is to the people of Port Coquitlam.

In my own riding, I held a town hall about a year ago where 3,300 people stayed on the phone for an hour to learn about this initiative, and of course to express some of their concerns.

About a year ago, I met with the Canadian Nurses Association. I asked one of the nurses there what she thought about the legalization of marijuana, and some of the concerns. I appreciate that the member talked first and foremost about safety. She said that she has a friend who works in emergency rooms in Colorado, where marijuana has now been legal for a number of years, and that this friend had said that the number one thing that was now bringing people through the doors of emergency rooms in Colorado was related to marijuana, either because of impaired accidents, both automobile and otherwise, and paranoia from combining mental health prescription drugs with marijuana.

Therefore, I would like to ask the member this. Do you feel comfortable that the proposal you have brought forward will actually keep Canadians safe?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.
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Liberal

Ron McKinnon Liberal Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, the legislation will keep Canadians safe in many ways. For example, marijuana is currently very widely used among our youth. Canada has one of the highest per capita rates of marijuana use among youth in any developed country. The problem is the marijuana they are getting is from an unknown source, of unknown potency, and unknown quality. It also puts them into contact with the black market, which is a gateway to many other serious drugs and substances.

Providing a controlled source of marijuana of a known provenance, with a known potency and purity, would help that situation. It would also provide a way for people to buy and sell it legally, controlled in a similar way to tobacco.

The biggest effort to keep children away from using marijuana is going to be around education, not by prohibition, and not by threatening them with some sort of criminal prohibition. It devolves upon all the adults in the equation to look after the children, to keep them educated, and to advise them of the danger of this substance.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:30 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, I do not detect much enthusiasm when my colleagues on the government side are talking about Bill C-45, the marijuana legalization bill. Many of them simply read out prepared speeches and do not really believe everything they are saying.

Since I live in a rural area, in a community that is very worried about what is happening in Canada for the first time in its history, I cannot honestly imagine that, deep down, the members opposite are happy about moving forward with Bill C-45. I am not the only one who thinks so. There is very strong opposition in my riding, of course. Police bodies, municipalities, and provincial governments are also opposed to having this kind of legislation imposed on them and especially object to the government's utterly irrational agenda with regard to Bill C-45. Doctors, psychiatrists, scientists, and leaders everywhere are speaking out.

Just before coming here to give this speech, I asked some of my constituents about their thoughts on Bill C-45. Here are some of the comments I received:

I no longer live in the area, but I am still 200% against it. People are not allowed to smoke anywhere, but soon people are really going to start complaining when they realize just how much pot stinks. Legalizing the drug is a really stupid idea.

Here is another comment:

We have enough trouble dealing with drunk driving, and now they want to add another driving problem with this legislation. The accident rate went up in countries where they legalized cannabis, and we will be no exception.

I am not the one who is saying this. Here is another quotation:

I am 100% against. I have seen the havoc drugs have wreaked on the lives of users and their loved ones, and it really is not pretty. We cannot forget that this “soft” drug is a stepping stone to other hard drugs. Therefore, people will be saying that it is no big deal because it is legal. This is very dangerous, especially for our youth.

That is not all. Here is another one:

It seems that politicians have not consulted, or have not consulted enough, with experts on the subject.

Here is one final comment:

They are already having a hard time providing mental health care, so how are they going to deal with growing demand because statistics show that marijuana use often leads to problems like that and makes a lot of people depressed. This makes me worry about the future.

If the proper process had been followed, these people would not be so worried. If this bill were addressing an actual need, these people would already have answers to their questions. They would not be so worried about how marijuana legalization will affect our roads and our young people, the very young people the government claims it is helping by legalizing marijuana.

I recently read a comment about how this legislation will normalize marijuana to the point that young people may be even more interested in using it. I am trying to keep my feelings out of this, but I must admit I am having a hard time.

July 1, 2018, is nine months from now. In September, the Ontario Provincial Police Deputy Commissioner told the Standing Committee on Health that more time and more resources are needed to train police officers. Those two elements are lacking here. This is how the Deputy Commissioner described the likelihood that police officers will be ready by July 1, 2018:

...it's impossible. The damage that can be done between the time of new legislation and police officers being ready to enforce the law...can make it very hard for us to ever regain that foothold.

We heard the same message from Mario Harel, the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, when he appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights:

...are we delivering on the public safety objectives Canadians would expect of us? We are 10 months away, so allow me to put this into perspective.

We have 65,000 police officers in Canada who require training to understand the new legislation once it is passed into law....Provincial governments for the most part are still developing regulatory and delivery schemes, which directly impact law enforcement.

Quite frankly, the capacity currently is not there to deliver the amount of training required.

The police themselves are the ones saying this.

Why are the Liberals so determined to rush Bill C-45 through? What are they hiding? What is the hurry? Who do they have to answer to, if not Canadians, police chiefs, doctors, and psychiatrists? Who is the government trying to pander to by rushing to legalize marijuana?

This will have a serious impact on young people. We know this. I have heard from many people who are saying the same thing. What the government is claiming is totally false.

If young people under 25 are allowed to use cannabis, this will have a serious impact. It has been proven that this can have a permanent and possibly very serious effect on their mental health and brain development. I will not start quoting scientists and all the studies that have been done on that, for there are too many to name.

All I know is that if the government goes ahead with this on July 1, 2018, Canada will not be the same, Canadian society will not be the same. The Liberal government and every Liberal member will be to blame. The hon. member for Compton—Stanstead, the hon. member for Shefford, the hon. member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain, the hon. member for Québec, the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean, the hon. member for Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation, the hon. member for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the hon. member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, the hon. member for Louis-Hébert, the hon. member for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, the hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi, and the hon. member for Saint-Jean and all the others will be to blame for everything that happens after July 1, 2018.

They still have a chance to get this right, but, if they continue to impose Bill C-45 on Canadians, after July 1, 2018 it will be too late.

Police chiefs have said that they are not ready. The damage will be done and we will never be able to go back. This is where this government is taking us. This is where this government is taking our society. This is where this government is taking Canada after July 1, 2018.

History will be defined by what came before July 1, 2018, and what came after July 1, 2018.

Those are the facts and that is what we are up against. I hope that the members I named and all the others, such as the hon. member for Pontiac, the hon. member for Thérèse-De Blainville, the hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard, the hon. member for Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, the hon. member for Bourassa, and the hon. member for Laval—Les Îles will understand this before the damage is done.

We are at a point where individual members of the Liberal government must assume their responsibilities towards their constituents, the youth in their ridings, and Canada.

I regularly see the member for Scarborough Southwest defend this irresponsible date of July 1, 2018. I invite him to come and tour our regions and to speak with our mayors and police chiefs so that he will understand once and for all that the date of July 1, 2018 is premature. Canada is not ready to deal with these changes.

Personally, I prefer the Canada as it exists now prior to July 1, 2018, to the Liberals' Canada after July 1, 2018.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:40 a.m.
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Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his invitation to go to his riding to give his constituents information, not to cause fear but to help them be better informed.

I find the member's comment that he prefers the situation as it currently exists intriguing. Let us be clear what that situation is. Today we have the highest rate of cannabis use among children of any country in the world. The member apparently prefers that. The current supply of cannabis being sold to our children comes from organized crime. They make billions of dollars from that. The member prefers that.

I am just curious. Does the member not see that with the imposition of a strict regulatory regime for the production and distribution of cannabis we would have an opportunity to do a better job of protecting our kids and a better job of making our communities safe, displacing organized crime from this business?

I find the current situation unacceptable, but the member opposite laments its passing. I would like him to explain why the current situation is his preferred environment.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, we are looking to the facts.

With respect to Colorado, consumption of marijuana rose after legalization. That is why I prefer the Canada as it exists now to the one that will take shape after July 2018.

I will remind the member for Scarborough Southwest, who was a respected police chief, what his colleagues say when asked if it is possible for the police to be ready for July 1, 2018.

“Impossible. Senior police officials tell MPs they won't be ready for legal cannabis.”

That is the reality, and these are the facts. I am tired of hearing them insist otherwise.

In my riding's high schools, it is not true that most students consume cannabis. It is simply not true. The students who consume cannabis are far outnumbered by those who do not. Unfortunately, once marijuana is legalized and normalized, the scales could tip the other way, with consumption becoming more common among youth than not. That is what will happen.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, the member for Mégantic—L'Érable, for his remarks. I thought one thing he said was particularly interesting, namely that he holds the Liberal members to blame.

I was under the impression that every member of this Parliament was elected to be a lawmaker. We did not choose this poorly crafted bill, evidently. However, I have trouble understanding how my colleague, as a Conservative, would bear some of the blame, given that his party proposed no amendments or changes, not even to postpone the coming into force of what I must say is a rather poorly crafted bill.

Listening to his speech, I shared some of the concerns expressed by the people of his riding, because we hear these concerns in many ridings.

Why are the Conservatives not proposing any amendments to this deeply flawed bill?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, the government is continually saying that this legislation would keep cannabis out of the hands of our children, but that is not true. The provinces disagree. The New Brunswick health minister just came out with some added provisions to try to protect children from homegrown cannabis. I see that Saskatchewan advocates are looking for more things.

Subclause 8(c) of the bill would allow children aged 12 to 17 to have up to five grams.

Could the member share what they think in Quebec about those provisions?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, everyone agrees that it makes no sense for children between the ages of 12 to 17 to be in possession of marijuana.

Unfortunately, that is probably what is going to happen, particularly since this bill will allow people to grow marijuana at home. Who is going to start counting the leaves on their pot plants to make sure that three or four of them have not been stolen by children between the ages of 12 to 17? That does not make any sense. This measure is irresponsible and disrespectful toward Canadian youth.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:45 a.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to share a bit of information that will hopefully be of benefit to members and will get Conservative members to rethink some of the spin they are hearing from their Conservative colleagues, or possibly their research team. I do not know exactly where they are getting their facts. On the last question, about the five grams, it would be illegal under this legislation to have five grams in one's possession. Less than that would be under provincial jurisdiction.

Let me start by commenting that I was really touched by the comments made earlier today by representatives of all political parties. As someone who has served in the Canadian Forces, I have had the opportunity to participate in many marches in remembrance. I would like to briefly provide a comment of respect for those war veterans I marched with back in the early 1980s. I applaud and recognize their ultimate sacrifice to make Canada what it is today.

I understand that the New Democrats and the Green Party will be supporting this legislation. Canadians need not be surprised. Liberals talked about this in the last federal election. It was in our election platform that this was what we would do. At the end of the day, there has been a great deal of support for what the government is moving forward with. I am surprised at the degree to which the Conservative Party seems to want to fight this issue. What surprises me most is the fact that it does not have any problem using misinformation.

In Canada today we have the highest consumption rate in terms of young people engaged in using cannabis. That means that there are more young people per capita in Canada who have tried or used cannabis than in countries like the United States, the U.K., and Australia. We already know that our system is not working, and we need to address the issue. It might affect some ridings more than others, but at the end of the day, it is a national issue.

There are already too many young people being encouraged to use cannabis. There is a criminal element out there that wants young people to use it. They sell it to young people, because they have a vested financial interest in getting young kids to use cannabis. This legislation, in good part, would deal with that.

The Conservatives seem to have no problem with people going into our schools and telling children to buy bags of cannabis. Those students are going to be experimenting with who knows what, because criminal elements are trying to get our kids to smoke marijuana. We do not know what is in the bags being circulated in our schools, or in the cigarettes, or tokes, or whatever they are called. Excuse me for not knowing the word. We have no idea what the drugs are being laced with or what is sold to children in our schools. What we know for a fact is that there are too many young people in Canada who are being enticed to participate in the consumption of cannabis.

We finally have a government that is saying that it is going to strictly regulate, legalize, and restrict access to cannabis. In the area I represent, I believe that is good news. Every year we get gangs or that criminal element making hundreds of millions of dollars. A major amount of that money comes through selling cannabis to young people. I am talking about 11 to 13-year-olds.

When people talk about the impact on the brain and on a young person's growth, there is no question that we need to be concerned about this. However, if members are really concerned about this and they want to do something about it, they might want to consider voting in favour of the legislation. If they are really sincere in their comments about about young people, they will vote in favour of this.

I am concerned about the young people whom I represent in Winnipeg North. I want to see less money going to the criminal element there. I want to see fewer 11-year-olds consuming cannabis. This legislation is a giant step in the right direction to allow that to happen. The Conservatives seem to believe that if the legislation passes, people who have consumed cannabis will be driving around on streets all over Canada. I have news for them. That happens today.

When it came to training our police or our law enforcement agencies, the Conservatives committed $2 million. This government is committing $161 million for training of law enforcement officers and providing the type of equipment that is going to be necessary. Therefore, not only are we doing the right thing by bringing forward the legislation, we are also providing the financial means necessary to assist our law enforcement agencies. I do not share the opinions of Conservative members who seem to think that our law enforcement agencies will not be ready in time. The resources and the sense of commitment we see day in and day out from law enforcement officers will ensure we are in a ready position to deal with this good, sound legislation.

A great deal of effort has been put into this legislation. I made reference to the fact that we had an election platform. Canadians have been consulted extensively on this issue. We have had a task force on it. We have standing committees that have dealt with it, either directly or indirectly. A great deal of debate has taken place, not only in Ottawa but in our constituencies. We now have before us legislation that would make a positive difference.

I want to bring it down to the real grassroots communities we represent. Today, far too many dollars flow to the criminal elements in our communities. Cannabis is one of those things that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars every year to that. This legislation would help to get rid of that. By doing that, we will see fewer young people using cannabis because we will be taking the profit away from the criminal element, which has a financial interest in getting our young people on cannabis or at least trying it. That is one of the reasons why more young people in Canada use cannabis than in any other country in the world.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 11:55 a.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.

There are 338 members of the House of Commons. The government has a slight majority, which means that it is in charge of planning our country's legislative agenda. That brings us to the bill proposed by the Liberal government. The 338 MPs are the ears and the voice of the people we represent. The members on this side of the House are not all complete idiots who do not care about what our constituents say.

How is it then that not one of the 38 amendments proposed by the NDP to try to strengthen this bill was accepted? One has to wonder.

How is it that the Liberals always seem to have all the answers?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / noon
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Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, whether with this legislation or other legislation, we have seen a change in attitude at the standing committees. I am very familiar with the amendments and the process in which amendments are brought forward. The standing committees control the committee, what is debated, the votes, and so forth. We have had standing committees in which amendments have been brought forward and have passed. Opposition amendments have passed, many in fact, on a wide variety of legislation. We can contrast that to the former government. I could not name one amendment that ever passed during the years of the Conservative majority government.

Our government listens. It is very responsible with all ideas brought forward. I do not want to comment specifically on the amendments the member across the way might have brought forward, but our government gives consideration to all amendments.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / noon
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Conservative

Bernard Généreux Conservative Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Madam Speaker, I listened to my colleague defend this bill with great passion, but I do not know where this passion is coming from.

The Liberals want to usher in the type of world where, starting July 1, 2018, a 12-year-old will be able to legally access marijuana. I have children and grandchildren. In all honesty, I cannot believe that, in a developed country like ours, we are going to be sending a message to kids that it is perfectly acceptable and easy to do drugs whenever they want.

Does my colleague have any grandchildren? Does he think that the day when they can easily buy drugs on a street corner will be a good day for his grandchildren?