Cannabis Act

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

Sponsor

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

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 18, 2018 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 27, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 27, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (recommittal to a committee)
Nov. 21, 2017 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 21, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (report stage amendment)
Nov. 21, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (report stage amendment)
Nov. 21, 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
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

Accessible Canada ActGovernment Orders

September 19th, 2018 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Bill C-81, an act to ensure a barrier-free Canada.

I want to say at the outset that I am pleased to see that the minister has brought forward this bill. I have absolutely no doubt about her sincerity in trying to improve the lives of people with disabilities. I too am aligned in that direction. I have listened carefully to the debate we have had so far talking about how to get people with disabilities the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens, how to make sure they are able to live independently and how to make sure they are free from violence. I am aligned in all those things. I think I have heard that all the parties in the House are aligned in how we improve the lives of people with disabilities, and what we can we do with this bill to make sure it is effective.

When it comes to deciding to tackle an issue, with my engineering perspective I will ask what it is we are trying to do. I think it is trying to get people to be able to live independently, to have the same rights and responsibilities as others and to be free from violence. What is the plan to make that happen? What mechanisms will we put in place in order to make sure the money or the incentives flow so the behaviours of people will take root?

In my speech, I am going to talk a bit about what has happened in the past and what the Conservatives did. Then I will talk a little about the Liberal record. Then I will talk about the situation in my own riding, some ideas about possible solutions and some concerns I have with the legislation as it is written today.

I know things were going on to help improve accessibility when the Conservatives were in power. Although I was not here myself, I saw all the announcements and improvements happening in my own riding of Sarnia—Lambton, where multiple millions of dollars were spent to upgrade different buildings to ensure they were accessible for people in wheelchairs and to put different aids in place to help people with disabilities. I note that was going on.

At the same time, we have heard other members in the House talk about the Conservative Party's introduction of the registered disability savings plan in 2008. This plan is quite a rich plan. I looked at the details of it when we were addressing an issue that I will talk about later. However, this is a plan where a disabled person can put in up to $5,000 a year and the government will match it threefold. That program has been going on for almost 10 years. Although it has not come to the point where people are collecting from the program, it is a very well thought out way of ensuring people with disabilities will have the wherewithal to retire in dignity.

I see that and see the efforts of the member for Carleton, who brought forward a very intelligent bill aimed at addressing the problem people with disabilities have when they want to go work and their benefits are clawed back. In some cases, the money they are getting from other disability programs is clawed back. I was really disappointed in the extreme that every Liberal in the place rejected that private member's bill. That bill would have been such a help to people with disabilities. We talked as well about the member for Calgary Shepard bringing forward a private member's bill on rare diseases, which was also rejected. I just heard a member from the NDP talking about her bill being rejected.

This is where one really has to question people's motives. When people say one thing and do another, they are likely to be called hypocrites. When I look at the Liberals, I see there is a lot of talking about helping people with disabilities, but then we look at the record of what has happened since the election in 2015. The first member who had the portfolio to do something here on accessibility, or helping the disabled, was the member for Calgary Centre. It was in the mandate letter, yet nothing was done. That member is also a person who has lived experience as a person with disabilities, but nothing was done. It was not a priority.

It was then passed along to the member for Etobicoke North. However, I do sympathize with her. She is the Minister of Science and has a lot of very important things to do which, of course, I, as a fellow science person, cannot criticize. Again, nothing really came forward.

Then when I looked at the bill to see what was in it, I thought that perhaps there would be a lot of infrastructure money. We know there are a lot of buildings that are not accessible and they need a lot of money in order to repair them so they will be accessible. In some cases, those could be incentives. There is a number of ways that could be done, but nothing in the bill talks about that.

In fact, the bill has sort of an element of what the minister's powers would be. It has an element of a standards organization that can talk about what the right thing to do would be. There are mechanisms in the bill to complain. There are mechanisms in it to inspect. However, there are no action words. There is really no doing of anything. It is going to be consulting and spending a few more years to try to figure out what we should do, when we already know some of the things we should do. Some of the things we should do involves investing the same kind of infrastructure money that was previously done under the Conservatives.

I have heard the government speak about the $180 billion of infrastructure money that it will invest over the next number of years. In fact, the Liberals got elected on a promise to spend very small deficits in order to put infrastructure in place. That was going to create jobs and drive the economy and repair our roads and bridges, etc. None of that ever happened. My point is that there was a lot of infrastructure money that was planned to be spent. Even though the government has had difficulty getting that accomplished, as I think it has only spent about 40% of what it planned, it has still racked up way more deficit but not on the intended things.

There is an opportunity for the government to do something immediately with respect to infrastructure to improve accessibility. Those are things where the building codes exist today. The specifications exist today. The standards exist today. No work needs to be done to consult anybody on that or have new standard organizations to do it. This already exists. All it really needs is political will to put that money in place.

Instead, the government has basically a different political will, if we look at where the billions of dollars that the government is spending is going: $4.2 billion on foreign aid; $2.65 billion on climate change support for foreign countries like China and India; $5 billion for the Syrian refugees; $1 billion for the asylum seekers; and multiple billions of other things that are spread around the world but not for Canadians and not for the disabled. When we look at where time, energy and money is put, that determines what our values are or what our priorities are.

It has been three years before seeing any kind of legislation and the legislation does not have any strong actions in it. It is more of “we'll put structures in place to consult”. I really question whether there is enough political will to achieve good outcomes here.

As I mentioned, I have some good examples from my riding that I can share. I know that the previous member of Parliament, Pat Davidson, was very active. She really cared about improving accessibility. Elevators were put in multiple buildings. We had accessibility all over the county of Lambton. As well, we have upgraded many of the schools to be accessible.

The Sarnia Arena is going under remediation. I was there for an event this past weekend and all of the entrances and front sidewalks, etc. have been improved for accessibility and all of the standards have been met.

Not everything is wonderful in my riding. We have a situation in Port Lambton where the post office, which is a Crown corporation and is under the legislation being proposed, is not accessible. It has been there for a long period of time and was grandfathered, but it is not accessible. We are having a municipal election and people are going to have to go to Canada Post to vote. In Port Lambton that is pretty much all there is. However, it is not accessible. People have known about it for a long time. My office has called and nagged and has been told that they will get to it. However, no one has got to it.

Here is an example where the solution is known. It just needs to get done and it needs to get done in a hurry. Again, where is the will to force these solutions to happen?

I have a tremendously great example of a fellow named Dan Edwards in my riding. Unfortunately, he had an accident which rendered him unable to walk and left him in a wheelchair. He has been super inspirational in the riding. He does fundraising for mental health efforts and different things.

This is one of the things he did. We have a fundraiser in Sarnia—Lambton called the Dream Home. It is a fundraiser for the hospital. He decided to get together with the architect who was going to build the latest Dream Home for a lottery to raise money for the hospital and decided to make it a visitable home. A visitable home is a home where any person in a wheelchair would be fully able to access everything, from cooking to the entrances. Everything is ground floor. It is very well done.

I had the opportunity to tour the home and see what he and architect had designed together. He shared with me a lot of information about the very many plans like this. It is quite possible. We have these solutions that we could put in place to allow people to live independently. That would be great. Again, money and political will is some of what is required here.

The other piece of advice I would give with respect to solutions and rolling out the infrastructure money is to ensure that it is well-distributed. Of the $180 billion that was announced over 10 years, only $2 billion of that was earmarked for rural communities. When we look at improving accessibility, I think we will find that there is even more need in the rural communities. In many cases, they have grandfathered their buildings. There are more older buildings, and they have not been made accessible. As well, there is less of a population base to bring in the revenue to do these things of their own volition. That needs to be considered.

With respect to some concerns about the legislation, $290 million has been proposed. I heard discussion earlier about 5,000 new public servants. I was not clear if that was 5,000 public servants with disabilities who would be hired while attrition happened, so over time, or whether that was 5,000 additional public service employees. Of course, I would be opposed to increasing the size of government.

Another concern I have with the bill has to do with leaving things for the regulations. As a parliamentarian, and a detailed-oriented one, I do not like to leave things to chance. I have seen before, under some of the legislation that the Liberals have brought forward, where it is all left to regulation.

With Bill S-5, for example, the Liberals decided, from the plain packaging and the vaping, they were going to leave a lot of it to the regulations. We were approving a bill, and as the point was made, that we really did not know what the final outcomes would be. We were going to leave it to the regulation.

In the example of Bill S-5, the Liberals want to go to a plain package. The dimensions of the plain package are produced by machines that are obsolete, that are no longer owned by anybody who is legitimately in the business. The Liberals have given businesses six months to convert.

They would have to redesign the old, obsolete machines and get them built somewhere, and that is certainly an 18-month deal, or they would have to be shut down altogether in order to achieve this plain packaging goal, or let them use the existing size. That is an example of where when things are left to regulations, they do not always get done the way that we might want. That is why parliamentary oversight is important.

Bill C-45, the cannabis legislation, is another example where the Liberals decided to leave a lot of the details to the regulation. The problem is that the regulations did not come out quickly enough to address all the unanswered questions that were still out there. Now we are left with a situation where we will legalize on October 17, and there is still a huge number of things that are not addressed in the regulations. Again, there is no parliamentary oversight to talk about them.

This point came up again on Bill S-228 with the regulation that we most recently talked about, which is the one that prohibits the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Instead of defining what the healthy foods are, the comment was that it would be left to the regulations.

As parliamentarians, we have a right to know what that list will be and have some opportunity to object or give input if we do not agree. By leaving it to the regulations, we would be passing a blank bill that says we would be doing something. We have no idea what the something is and we have no input on the something, but we are expected to vote in favour of it. I have an issue with that.

When it comes to accessibility, we have been much too slow in moving forward and addressing these things. For example, there are a lot of the grandfathered buildings. My mother is 84 and walks with a rollator. There are a lot of places she cannot go because of staircases or it is too narrow to get through. Something needs to be done there and I look forward to seeing what solutions will be brought forward are.

I will talk a little about some of the things the government could do that would make people have more faith in its wanting to help disabled people.

Members may remember when I was here on a Friday, asking a question about the disability tax credit. Through that whole event, we found out that where 80% of people with type 2 diabetes were previously approved, all of a sudden 80% were disapproved. We raised the concern, and the Liberal government insisted that nothing had changed. Of course, as the scandal went on, it came out that indeed things had changed. There were instructions given to interpret the criteria differently, and it went very broad. It affected not just people with diabetes but people with other disabilities, such as autism and mental disorders like bipolar. It took months and months to get justice for those people. This is what undermines people's faith that the government is sincere in its efforts to improve things for people with disabilities.

I will give members another example. For people with multiple sclerosis, it can be very difficult, because people are not always be at the same degree of wellness. It is sort of intermittent where there may be periods where they cannot work and other times they may be fine.

However, the current EI rules are not flexible enough to allow a person who has MS to be on EI and work intermittently, the same total benefits as someone who takes it consecutively would get. I raised this issue with the Minister of Labour. There is an easy fix there. If 670 hours of eligibility are required and there is a certain amount of hours that people get in benefits, then allow the intermittency. Those are the kinds of things we can do for people who have disabilities to be able to live independently, to work and to engage. We need to do that.

I did take the point that was made earlier that no disability lens was used for the legislation. When we do legislation, we do it with a gender-based lens. Therefore, it is very appropriate here to take that recommendation from the member and put a disability lens in place.

I also do not like the powers to exempt in the bill. I find that when we allow exemptions and have cabinet decide, we get into trouble. We saw this with the carbon tax. The government had the power to exempt and it decided to exempt the largest emitters up to 90% of their emissions. There is an example where having the power to exempt is really not what we want.

In summary, I absolutely want to see persons with disabilities have the independence they need and have the help they need. However, it has to happen faster. I call on the government today to start putting money into infrastructure for accessibility and do the solutions that we already know about, while we craft improvements to the bill.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

June 20th, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In a moment I will be asking for unanimous consent to present a motion.

Last night, the Senate passed Bill C-45, important legislation that will positively change 100 years of legal, social, and economic attitudes towards cannabis. It will legalize an activity that the vast majority of Canadians regard as acceptable.

That is why, Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I hope you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: That, in the opinion of the House, given the passage of Bill C-45 and the imminent legalization of cannabis for personal recreational use, and recognizing that many Canadians are facing criminal charges, experiencing criminal sanctions, or bearing criminal records for cannabis offences that are soon to be legal, the government should take all necessary steps to immediately provide pardons for those burdened by criminal records for cannabis offences that will soon be legal.

Cannabis ActStatements By Members

June 20th, 2018 / 2:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Bill Blair Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the passing of Bill C-45 in the Senate and to recognize the substantial work undertaken by all parliamentarians. I sincerely thank senior officials and our incredible support staff who have contributed to legislation that will legalize and strictly regulate the production, distribution, and consumption of cannabis in Canada. The evidence that nearly a century of prohibition has failed us is overwhelming, and it has compelled us to do a better job of protecting our kids and keeping our communities safe.

I want to acknowledge the excellent work of our task force and the thousands of Canadians who have contributed to the national discussion on this important issue. We are indebted to our provincial and territorial counterparts, indigenous leaders, and municipalities for their hard work and partnership. We will continue to work with all levels of government, indigenous communities, and law enforcement to transition to a responsible legal framework that works for all Canadians.

As the process of implementation unfolds, I would remind everyone that until the current criminal prohibition is repealed and replaced, the law remains in effect and should be obeyed.

MarijuanaOral Questions

June 19th, 2018 / 3:05 p.m.
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Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, once again, protecting the health and safety of Canadians is our number one priority. The current approach to cannabis is not working. It lets criminals profit and does not protect our young people.

We thank senators for all the work they have done over the past few months, and we have agreed to the vast majority of amendments brought forward. We are convinced that Bill C-45 will give us the opportunity to achieve our objectives and ensure a responsible transition towards a legal market.

MarijuanaOral Questions

June 19th, 2018 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, once again, protecting the health and safety of Canadians is a top priority for our government. The existing approach to cannabis does not work. It allows criminals to profit from cannabis and it is also a failure because it does not protect our children.

We thank the Senate for all its work and we agreed to the vast majority of the proposed amendments. We firmly believe that Bill C-45 will help us reach our objectives and ensure a responsible transition towards a legal cannabis market.

MarijuanaOral Questions

June 19th, 2018 / 2:55 p.m.
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Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the health and safety of all Canadians is a top priority for our government.

The approach taken by Mr. Harper's Conservatives did not work. It allowed criminals to profit from cannabis and did not manage to keep cannabis out of the hands of children.

We thank the Senate for its work and we agree on the vast majority of the proposed amendments. We believe that Bill C-45 will help us meet our objectives and allow for a responsible transition towards a legal market.

MarijuanaOral Questions

June 19th, 2018 / 2:20 p.m.
See context

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, protecting the health of Canadians is an absolute priority for our government. The Harper Conservatives' approach did not work. It allowed criminals to profit and did not manage to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth. We thank the Senate for its work, and we agree with the majority of the amendments presented by Conservative and independent senators. We are convinced that Bill C-45 will allow us to reach our objectives and ensure a responsible transition to a legal cannabis market.

Firearms ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 11:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, that has nothing to do with the bill we are discussing. The hon. member and friend from Winnipeg Centre should look at the legislation carefully to see if this is something that would really address the situation he is talking about, gang violence in his own constituency, which is a significant problem. I realize that and acknowledge that this is a serious issue in his riding.

I will affirm very clearly, from my understanding of this legislation and from what I have read, that this will not help you at all, because it is not law-abiding gun owners you have a problem with. It is gangs, illegal guns, and the drug trade, which will only get worse once Bill C-45 is passed later this week by the Senate. You will have nobody else to thank for that but yourself—

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 3:05 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:08 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion relating to Senate amendments to Bill C-45.

The House resumed consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.

MarijuanaOral Questions

June 18th, 2018 / 2:45 p.m.
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Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, protecting Canadians' health and safety is a top priority for our government. The Harper Conservatives' approach did not work. It allowed criminals to benefit and did not manage to keep cannabis out of the hands of our children. We thank the Senate for its work, and we agree with the majority of the amendments they proposed. We believe that Bill C-45 will give us the opportunity to achieve our respective objectives and to transition towards a legal market.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Bob Saroya Conservative Markham—Unionville, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to once again speak on an issue that I and many Canadians are deeply concerned about. I rise to speak against Bill C-45. This bill would legalize marijuana in Canada, a dangerous drug that is nothing less than damaging and addictive. I have been very clear that I am against this piece of legislation. I have taken the time to listen to experts from all backgrounds, and the findings continue to be the same: Marijuana is dangerous and Canada needs to think twice before going through with this bill. The Liberals really do not seem to get it.

Let me remind us all of the facts. According to the Canadian Medical Association, increased use of marijuana before the age of 25 severely impacts brain development. This means that this drug should not be made available to young people. In Colorado, where marijuana is legal, there have been cases of elementary school students consuming brownies containing marijuana and showing up high at school, as a result of how accessible the drug is in their homes. We are now beginning to see that happen in Canada. People have a misconception that marijuana is already legal.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. In Oshawa last month, on two different occasions, marijuana snacks were brought into schools in the form of gummy bears and cookies. The government refuses to think of our children. This is wrong. Unfortunately, the Liberals continue to put their political agenda above the safety of Canadians and are failing to consider the consequences. Worst of all, our police force is underfunded, unequipped, and not properly trained to react to an influx of drugs into our communities.

When it comes to health and safety, Canadians deserve the best. If we look at the example of Colorado again, Colorado is already regretting its decision to legalize marijuana. Just last month, we heard the Colorado governor say that he would not rule out banning marijuana once again. We should not make the same mistake as Colorado.

Many Canadians are deeply worried. The constituents in Markham—Unionville have told me countless times how concerned they are about the consequences of allowing marijuana to flow freely into our communities.

I will remain on the right side of this issue. The legalization of marijuana is a serious matter. I do not understand why the government refuses to look at all the facts. It has an arbitrary deadline in mind and is continuing full steam ahead. The Liberal government's plan to legalize marijuana would make Canada the first developed country in the world to do so. That fact alone should make us pause.

Why are we signing up to be the largest social experiment of the 21st century, when all the experts are telling us to slow down? I would have hoped that instead of politicizing the issue, the Prime Minister would take into consideration the many concerns presented by health experts, first responders, community leaders, and residents. Instead, the Prime Minister has opted to use everything at his disposal to rush Bill C-45 into law.

The evidence is clear. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals. Many of these are the same harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke and cause serious harm to youth brain development. There is no doubt about it: Marijuana is not safe. The misguided idea pushed by the Liberals that recreational use of this drug is harmless and should be legalized reinforces a misconception that marijuana is harmless. It would result in the normalization of marijuana use, for which our young people will pay dearly.

Countless medical professionals have testified that the brain continues to develop until the age of 25. According to the Canadian Medical Association, increased use of marijuana before the age of 25 increases one's risk of developing mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety by up to 30%, compared to those who have not used marijuana under the age of 25.

The government cannot go through with this bill.

I have heard loud and clear from my riding that people are concerned about the negative consequences that legalizing marijuana would have on our community and our youth. They are worried about what it would do to the value of their homes. However, the Liberals just keep going.

This is a piece of legislation that pertains to an issue very close to me. Marijuana is a dangerous drug. With all the pro-marijuana publicity lately, it can be hard for many Canadians to remember that marijuana is indeed damaging and addictive.

Canadian families expect safe and healthy communities in which to raise their children. Elected representatives can and should provide guidance on this drug to reflect the views of all Canadians. Let us all remember that we are talking about the health and safety of Canadians, and they deserve better. Let us not rush through the legislation. We need to do what is right for all Canadians. The provinces, municipalities, and police forces are not ready to implement this legislation.

I have said many times before that I oppose the legislation entirely. I choose to listen to the concerns raised by scientists, doctors, and law enforcement officials. I want to advocate for the voices that are not heard in the legislation and for those who say that the government's plan is being rushed through without proper planning or consideration of the negative consequences of such complicated legislation. The passing of Bill C-45 would lead to negative repercussions at the global level.

The government claims that the legislation will control the drug, but in reality it would allow the drug to get out of control, especially when we look at the issue of home grow. I really just cannot believe it. If marijuana is in the home, youth will have access to it. We have already seen this happen. Why will the government not look at the bill for what it really is, a big mistake? We cannot normalize this drug. We should not legalize it. Our children will pay the price.

I was speaking to the police chief of York region. He is definitely against this. He asked me to ask the member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest what side he was on for the 40 years he was in law enforcement, compared to now.

There is no money. For York region alone, it will cost $54 million over three years. The previous Liberal provincial government had promised up to 60%, and 40% will be taken by the local residents of York region. Is that fair?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, not everybody follows Facebook; not everyone follows Twitter. What does the member think this government should have done back in December, as it was proposing this bill to come forward this year?

Does the member not think it should have reached out to the Canadian School Boards Association? Does the member not think it should have reached out to all school divisions in this country, with some literature, with some pamphlets, with some education on it, or maybe even a video or two?

That would seem to be the wise thing to do. We just heard from the hon. member that the government has done none of this. It is relying on Facebook and Twitter. Is that not disgusting, that the government has never once gone into the schools in this country to tell people about the effects of this cannabis bill, Bill C-45?

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

What does the member mean by “Come on”, Madam Speaker? In our schools in Saskatoon that has happened already. That is how much members know about this. They have no idea what goes on in our communities, that we are trying to give our students in elementary school and secondary school better lives. Instead, the government is just pushing Bill C-45 ahead without any consultation with the people who it affects most of all, which is our young people.

Shame on the government. It has not done the consultation it said it was going to do. It has not reached out to the Canadian School Boards Association. I know this because I have talked to the Saskatchewan school boards. The government has done nothing. Shame on it for pushing Bill C-45 without talking to the people who it affects the most, which is our kids. They are our future.

I cannot support this bill without the consultation that the government said it was starting months ago. The government has done nothing and it should be ashamed. There is no way those on this side are going to support Bill C-45.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2018 / 1:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kevin Waugh Conservative Saskatoon—Grasswood, SK

Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to the amendments to Bill C-45, respecting the legalization of cannabis. I will be sharing my time with the member for Markham—Unionville.

There is no question that the current Liberal government is intent on pushing this bill through, despite numerous concerns voiced by experts, by law enforcement, and by Canadians across this country, including school boards, from coast to coast to coast. This is not a bill that should be forced through Parliament on a whim. As Parliament has spent many months studying the implications of this bill, many concerns and problems with the bill have been brought forward, as we have heard continuously in the last hour or so in the House. It is critically important for all Canadians that the current Liberal government work to resolve these problems, and that it listen to these concerns rather than try to push this bill through at all costs.

The Senate, as we know, has returned Bill C-45 to the House with 45 amendments, but the government has agreed to only 29 of them. The government has no plans to resolve any of the problems, which are still left unaddressed given its rejection of other crucial amendments. However, notably, the Liberals are refusing to allow provinces to determine on their own whether to ban cultivation of marijuana in individual homes. This is a big issue. Provinces such as Manitoba and Quebec have already signalled their deep concern with the negative social impacts that would occur as a result of allowing households to grow up to four marijuana plants. These provinces have concerns and they want to have the power to ban homegrown marijuana cultivation, but the current Liberal government has blatantly ignored these concerns and has said, “absolutely not”.

Most of the medical groups and the police services that have appeared before the House committees studying this bill have said they are against the provision in Bill C-45 to allow homegrown marijuana. Even if these households contain small children, even if this provision would allow organized crime to exploit homegrown marijuana production, and even if the police have said they will have serious difficulty monitoring whether people are growing no more than four plants in their homes, the government has said no to those provisions. The Liberals have shown that they care more about pushing through this bill as soon as possible than they care about public safety or about fixing the significant flaws in the bill. This action is totally unacceptable, and it also demonstrates clearly that the Liberals have their priorities backwards.

I spoke to many real estate people in my province of Saskatchewan, and actually on lobby day many of them came through our offices here, representing the Canadian real estate boards. They are also concerned. There are no landlord-tenant regulations for growing four plants in a home that maybe somebody is renting. This is something that needs to be discussed with the Canadian real estate board, and it has yet to do so.

In March of this year, I spent eight days touring various communities in Nunavut. I visited eight or nine schools on our trip, and that was really enjoyable. While I was meeting with the people of these communities, I heard many serious concerns with this bill, and how it would negatively impact the well-being of these northern communities. We should say right off the bat that there are no health centres in Nunavut for people struggling with addictions. I heard time and again there is not one facility in Nunavut that handles addictions, so when people have a problem they will be flown either to Winnipeg or all the way to Montreal. These people want to stay in their communities, yet they have no addiction facilities. Perhaps we should start there with at least one addiction facility in Nunavut and work out from there, but no, this bill will pass and we will see the horrific incidents that will happen time and again in Nunavut because of this. While the Liberals are taking no steps to mitigate the negative consequences that this bill would have in these communities in Nunavut, many of the elders are really concerned with this cannabis bill and they have not been consulted.

I found that first-hand when I toured each village up in Nunavut. Many of the elders are really concerned with this cannabis bill, and they have not been consulted. The government claims it consults indigenous peoples, and yet seven or eight of the Inuit communities I saw had not been consulted on this bill as of March.

The government wants to make sure at all costs that provincial and territorial governments will not be able to ban the homegrown marijuana plants within their own jurisdictions. This is not at all helpful, and it does nothing to address the many concerns I heard during my visits to these communities in late February and March. These people are being ignored by this Liberal government, because the Liberals' priority is to push this bill through at any cost.

The role of Parliament, of course, is to ensure that bills passed are for the betterment of all Canadians and do not cause harm to people across the country. Actually, the way in which Bill C-45 is being handled by the current government suggests in no way, shape, or form that the best interests of Canadians are being attended to.

We have talked to many people in this country about the bill. The number one consideration is the education aspect of it. In December, the government began its advertising about cannabis legislation. Where should it have started? I would think it should have contacted the Canadian school boards for a start. Does the government not think we should be in every classroom in this country talking about the good and the bad about cannabis? The government has not done anything at the school board level in this country.

I know this because I have a daughter in the city of Saskatoon who is a teacher. She is teaching grades 7 and 8. They have not even discussed this bill, and it is coming forth right away. I also have a son in Alberta who teaches at a junior college in Lethbridge. They have not even talked about this. These are kids in grade 9, 10, and 11, yet these schools have not talked about this bill and how it will be worked out in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

When the minister brought this bill forward, we were told that a vast education program would come with it. We have seen one or two ads on television, but let us get to the grassroots and to the kids who are in grade 6, 7, 8, and beyond. Why would we not talk about this bill in schools? Why would we not give each school in this country some literature so they can talk about the harmful effects of cannabis? The government has done none of it.

I was a school board trustee for nine and a half years. I asked the government questions time and time again about the education of this bill. Representatives told me it had hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on education. It has done next to nothing.

Schools are petrified that come September, they are the ones that will have to deal with this. They will have to deal with seven-year-olds coming to school with cannabis in their pocket, and yet none of the education has been done.