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

Report StageCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 5:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Cathay Wagantall Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased today to speak in the House in regard to Bill C-45, an act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other acts.

I am trying to think of an appropriate word to use that the people across the aisle would possibly accept and understand. The bill is harmful to young people. It is harmful to our society. It is poorly thought out. It is extremely rushed, and as a result, it is very dangerous legislation for us to be putting forward in Canada.

The Liberals claim that it will protect the health of young persons. That is one of their virtuous goals in putting this forward. Medical professionals have talked about mental health issues, including addiction, and the impact on the developing brain. Data shows that 30% to 40% of young people under the age of 25 who use cannabis will develop psychotic disorders, depression, or anxiety disorders. This is information from professionals, as my colleague was trying to present to the House to enable the Liberal Party to read and possibly discern that there are dangers in what they are suggesting they legalize in Canada.

The Liberals also talk about restricting access by young people. I have never heard a more confusing argument: trying to restrict the use of a dangerous substance by legalizing it and actually making it more available to young people. We know that the bill would allow young people between the ages of 12 and 18 to possess five grams at any one time. This would not say to young people that this is not something they should do. It would say it is okay for them to have this. Maybe it is because they do not want them to have a criminal record. It is irrational to say we do not want them to have a criminal record, so they can take and hold this much. It is not right, because it would encourage them to consider this.

In grade seven, I was part of a debate team. Our class was given this topic: grade seven students are juvenile and immature. Of course, we wanted to debate against that, because we were in grade seven, and we were not juvenile and not immature. My teacher told us to debate the other side, and somehow he convinced us to do that. We won that debate, because grade seven students are juvenile and immature. They are not grown up yet. They are formulating what their values are, and here we are with a government that is saying to them to go ahead and have five grams in their possession at any one time. It does not take long to realize that it would be a risk to them on many levels, besides their trying to process it with their own moral values. They could be coerced to carry it for others, possibly parents, or possibly older teens in the family who want more available. They could carry it for their siblings or their parents or a friend.

These young people also could be very much drawn into the black market to be handlers. I think especially of youth at risk. We like to think that this is not going to impact them in any way, but it will, because they are already at risk. They are vulnerable, and they are an easy target for people who are immoral and dishonest and will teach them behaviours that are not right and will draw them into a life of crime. There is also the opportunity to simply sell it personally and make money on something the government is saying they can have in their possession. Finally, there is the potential for them to say that they can have this, so why not just try it.

All these reasons totally negate this irrational argument that somehow, by legalizing this and making it available to children aged 12 to 18, it would restrict access. I have never heard a more disjointed, inaccurate, and inconceivable argument put forward. The government also said that it wants to protect young people from the inducement to use. Well, I have already said that just by putting the bill forward in this way, it is actually encouraging young people to consider using.

Another member on the other side of the House came back with the argument, on the question of youth having it in their possession, that it is the parents' responsibility. It is just like any other thing in the house they might have. The parents are responsible. On one level, I totally agree that parents are and should be responsible, above all other influences, for determining what direction their children should be guided. Parental rights, responsibilities, and privileges in raising children, which are our most precious and valuable resource as a nation, need to be protected. They actually need to be encouraged by government. Government should be supporting Canadian families through legislation. However, here it is working in opposition and challenging parents by telling teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 that it is okay, and legal, to have five grams of marijuana on their person.

I have worked a lot with teenagers, and I actually survived raising three amazing young adults myself. I have to tell members that at that point in life, the right thing for them to be doing is challenging things around them and trying to determine where their values are in relation to their parents and in what direction they are going to go.

When I tell my children that something is not right, and it is something they are thinking about, but their government turns around and tells them that it is okay and that it is legal, that is not supporting parents. The government is pushing this responsibility on them, just like it is pushing the responsibility on provinces and municipalities. The Liberals created the bill because they made an election promise, and they are having trouble finding one they can keep, so this is the one they will pull it off on.

This is entirely wrong. If youth should not use it, then they should not carry it.

The government also uses the argument that it is going to reduce illicit activities in relation to cannabis. In other words, it will somehow shut down the black market with the legal use of marijuana. We know how well that is working with contraband cigarettes.

I know from conversations with people I have helped in 10-step programs that there are rehab centres where black market drug dealers go to get healed. While there, they develop relationships with people they then meet on the outside, and they help them to become part of the process. This is not going to shut down the black market. It is money driven, it is greed driven, and it has nothing to do with caring for our society. The government is playing into its hands.

Canadians are very concerned all over this country. They are concerned about the workplace, law enforcement people, and our children, and they do not know what to do. They are throwing up their hands and asking how the government can do this.

Well, I have a few words I want to say to Canadians. I am going to post it, actually.

I will tell them that they have been amazing on so many fronts in dealing with issues this government has brought forward over the last two years, and they have made a difference. Opposition parties have a role to play, but we are here to represent Canadians, and as a result of their work and their telling this government what they will and will not accept, electoral reform is not on the table. They did that with their advocacy.

Punitive and unfair tax increases on the middle class, small and medium businesses, and farmers are not going to take place the way they would have if the Liberals had just been allowed to go ahead with their policies. Canadians made the difference.

They shut down the removal of section 176 and are protecting the right to freedom of religion in this country. They caused the Surgeon General to relegate the dangerous anti-malaria drug mefloquine to a drug of last resort, after decades of causing harm to our servicemen and women.

Canadians can do this. They can make a difference. I know that they see this law as irrational, dangerous, and rushed, everything that is not good. Therefore, I encourage them to do what they have done. I know they are exhausted. They should keep going.

Report StageCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 5:30 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-45.

Before I start my comments on Bill C-45, let me take a minute to reflect on the upcoming weekend and the remembrance services that many of us in this room will be attending this coming weekend, and to thank our veterans for the freedoms that we enjoy. Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending a number of remembrance services in New Dundee, New Hamburg, Linwood, and Elmira. This coming weekend, I will be in New Hamburg, Waterloo, Kitchener, and Elmira again. Let us just to think of the sacrifice that our veterans have made, and thank our legions for the great work that they do in not only supporting our veterans but also in helping us never to forget. I want to highlight that before I get into my remarks on Bill C-45.

There are a number of really important issues that are dealt with in this chamber on a daily basis. Over the last number of weeks, we have discussed a number of them, from rising debt to taxation, supposedly fair taxation, the economy, the deficit that is growing every day, and the amazing excessive interest we will be paying on that over the next four years of $33 billion per year. All of these things are important. However, in relation to the topic before us today, really they are of minor significance. This topic we are discussing today will have a life-changing impact not only on our youth and our citizens but on the very nation of Canada. I think it is important that we think clearly and soberly about the changes we are making, especially as it relates to three areas.

I first want to refer to our youth. That has been referred to many times today, the health, safety, and well-being of our children and our grandchildren, the safety of all Canadians on the roads, and the social risks that are involved in our communities with complaints and issues that will arise between neighbours.

However, let me first refer to our youth.

In question period today, my colleague from Richmond—Arthabaska, and I just happened to catch it, made this great statement that the decisions we make reveal the values we hold. How much do we, as members of Parliament, in this room value the youth of Canada? That is a question that we need to ask. I believe youth are a sacred trust that every one of us in this room has an obligation to guard seriously. We cannot take this obligation lightly.

The Liberals claim repeatedly that the purpose of this legislation is to protect our young people and to increase public safety. How can we keep this drug out of the hands of our youth when we are actually allowing four plants per household? How can we say we are keeping it out of the hands of our youth when we are allowing 12-year-olds to have up to five grams in their possession? We often hear of people being polled about whether they favour the legalization of marijuana, and the polls are all over the place, but it is somewhere around 50:50 or 60:40. However, I am convinced that if we were to give the details of what this bill entails with respect to the availability of four plants per household and up to five grams for 12-year-olds, we would get a much different answer.

The Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association have both stated that Canadians who consume marijuana recreationally under the age of 25 have a higher risk of developing mental illness, such as depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. We can all probably tell some anecdotal stories of family members or neighbours who have been derailed by the early use of marijuana.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association says:

Regular cannabis use in youth and young adults can affect aspects of cognition...attention, memory, processing speed, visuospatial functioning and overall intelligence. Worse performance is related to earlier adolescent onset of use.

I do not know how much earlier an onset one could get than offering this availability to a 12-year-old. Therefore, parents and grandparents are very concerned about the direction in which this bill is going.

Dr. Diane Kelsall in the Canadian Medical Association Journal wrote, “Most of us know a young person whose life was derailed because of marijuana use. Bill C-45 is unlikely to prevent such tragedies from occurring—and, conversely, may make them more frequent.”

There are far too many young people who have already been derailed. These are not just opinions, these are medical and psychiatric experts, and it is important that we listen to them.

I want to use the bulk of my time today to listen to one of the youth of Canada, who is concerned that this legislation and the actions we approve here in this House would, or could, in fact derail young people. She does not want to be one of those derailed, and she does not want her friends to be derailed. This young person is my granddaughter who wrote this two years ago, in November 2015, when she was 15 years old. She wrote:

Marijuana, the dangerous substance that damages our lungs, brain, educational value and social activity is the substance the government of Canada is trying to legalize. Claims say that legalization will erode the black market but in reality, legalizing marijuana will give people easier access to the drug. Recently I heard the testimony of a man who at age 14 was heading to Toronto for 420 with one hundred dollars worth of Marijuana. The fact that ten years ago a 14 year old boy who had no job and no car was able to get his hands on one hundred dollars worth of weed blows my mind. Can you imagine how easy it would be for someone to get marijuana now, especially if it were to become legal? Easier access to Marijuana will have many negative effects for Canada such as major health damage, ruining our educational system, our workplace and our society. The future of Canada rests in the hands of our generation, there is no way marijuana will be a positive tool in that regard....

With long term and short term effects the list of things that marijuana does to damage your health is endless. Short term effects include impaired memory, impaired body movement, changes in mood, hallucinations, paranoia, difficulty thinking and problem solving. Along with temporary damage Marijuana proves to once again be a dangerous substance having a long lasting effect on your brain and mental health. A study showed that people who started heavily smoking marijuana in their teens lost an average of eight IQ points between ages of 13 and 38. Even after quitting as an adult the lost mental abilities did not fully return. There are many different ways to consume Marijuana but no matter which way, it is harmful. Marijuana smoke contains the same tar and chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke which will lead to the inflammation of bronchitis. The drug harms cells lining and respiratory tract leading to precancerous changes that are associated with lung, head and neck cancer. Marijuana also stimulates your heart rate and blood pressure which can increase the risk of heart attack among individuals. I have named only a few of the health risks that occur when marijuana is consumed however, I hope that this is enough to strongly discourage you from believing the legalization of medical marijuana will infact be a positive thing in any way shape or form.

She went on:

The damage of marijuana does not end with your health, the drugs negative effect leads into your educational life as well. A review of 48 different relevant studies all found that marijuana use is associated with reduced chances of graduating. A recent analysis of data from studies in Australia and New Zealand found that youth who have used marijuana regularly were significantly less likely to finish highschool and obtain a degree than their non-using peers. Marijuana is encouraging lazy work habits and a 'don't care' attitude, leading students down the path of becoming a high school dropout. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that while under the influence of marijuana the still developing brain will have difficulty retaining memories, when related back to school this can seriously affect your learning skills as a student. “Falling behind in school is par for the course when marijuana use is a factor. It's not an issue solely based on loss of memory; they also report that psychological skills are reduced among students as well, decreasing their ability to sustain their self-confidence and remain focused on achieving academic and other goals”—NIDA. Even though marijuana is an illegal drug it has not stopped teens and students from buying and using the drug, what is to happen now if marijuana becomes legal? By legalizing this drug we are practically encouraging students to go out and get high, ruining their high school career and affecting whatever may lay beyond that....

Believe me when I say that marijuana not only negatively affects your health, your education but your social and work life as well. Studies show specific links between the use of marijuana and the workplace such as increased risk of injuries and accidents. One study among postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana on a urine drug test had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and 75 percent greater absence compared with those who tested negative for marijuana. After all of the papers you wrote, tests you studied for and emotional trials you went through over the minimum of 16 years of schooling, is it really worth it to throw that all away for the temporary high of marijuana?

....Before make the decision to legalize this dangerous substance lets first think of all of the health risks caused by this drug, the negative effect that it would have on our educational system and how different and harmful the workplace and our economy would be with marijuana easily accessible and legal.

I have so much more to share.

Let me finish with some comments by Dr. Diane Kelsall, director of the Canadian Medical Association, in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. She says, “If Parliament truly cares about the public health and safety of Canadians, especially our youth, this bill will not pass.”

I hope my colleagues will listen.

Report StageCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 5:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

My question, Madam Speaker, is about an aspect of Colorado policy, which I think is very good and is not present in Bill C-45. In Colorado, individual municipalities and counties can decide whether to allow marijuana sales. Some have allowed it; some have not. There is no availability of this kind of local option in Canada. Could my hon. colleague comment on that distinction?

Report StageCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak to Bill C-45, the cannabis act. I have been here since 2004 and it is probably one of the most badly written pieces of legislation I have ever seen, and there is some frustration on this side in that regard because we have heard the Liberals are going to bring in time allocation. For a bill of such importance and such reach within our provinces and territories, the requirement to have different Houses of Parliament coordinated on this is totally irresponsible.

I want my colleagues, especially on the Liberal side, to understand that there are certain important points to bear in mind in my speech. First of all, everyone agrees that too many kids are smoking marijuana. In my community of Oshawa, no one wants to see a kid who has a couple of joints get a criminal record or get thrown into jail. Most Canadians would agree with that, and that is why it is really important that Canadians recognize that the Conservatives favour making the possession of small amounts of marijuana a ticketable offence only. This is exactly in line with the position of the chiefs of police. This is a responsible approach, one that Canadians would be very supportive of, but not of the bill that we see in front of us.

The Liberals claim that the status quo is not working, but how does the Liberal government define that? According to a Statistics Canada report dated April 2015, based on data collected from the Canadian community health survey on mental health, the total percentage of teens aged 15-17, which is the target group, reporting having used marijuana had dropped from 40% in 2002 to 25% in 2012. That is a 15 percentage point decrease. This means that something in the status quo is working, but why are the Liberals not telling Canadians about that? What are the Liberals saying? They are saying they want to legalize marijuana because it will it out of the hands of our kids and keep the profits out of the hands of organized crime. We agree with that. These are good ideas, but does C-45 accomplish that objective? Anyone who has read the bill would say no.

At the health committee we had scientists testify, and the science is clear. Any use of marijuana under the age of 25 can cause permanent psychological damage to our kids, and currently the bill allows kids aged 12 to 17, as young as grade 6, to possess up to five grams of marijuana, equivalent to 10 to 15 joints. That is ridiculous in light of the medical evidence of the harm it can cause our youth. There is no provision to prevent them from selling or distributing cannabis. The amount should be zero.

I am asked if a child in grade 6 could share it with younger kids. That is an important question. It is a great concern of parents and teachers. It would allow drug dealers to target kids and use them for profit.

Bill C-45 allows up to four plants to be grown in the home. Any home can become a grow op. Four plants under the right conditions can yield up to 600 grams or 1,200 to 1,800 joints. This is a concern for homeowners, landlords, law enforcement. Moreover, there is no mandatory testing for the potency or toxicity of the homegrown plants, and no money for inspection. There is no federal requirement to lock up the marijuana. This is going to expose kids and even pets to the drugs. Grow ops lead to a 24-fold increase in incidents involving fire. Landlords are concerned that they will not be able to forbid grow ops or smoking if they are already renting their properties.

Other jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana have said that home grows were hugely penetrated by organized crime. We know it from the science and the evidence out there. For this reason, Washington state does not allow home grows, except for medically fragile people who cannot get to a dispensary. It has been able to reduce organized crime to less than 20% of the market.

The legal opinion is that allowing four plants per dwelling will end up being challenged in court as well. The government has not thought through the bill. There will not only be danger in the homes of Canadians, but on the roads too. Drug-impaired driving is not addressed in Bill C-45. It is encompassed in Bill C-46, but a study recently issued by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction put the cost of impaired driving from cannabis at one billion dollars. The AAA found there has been a large increase in the number of fatal accidents in Washington state involving the use of marijuana after the state legalized the drug. In fact, impaired driving has increased in the American states that have legalized it, and there is no current instrument that can accurately measure one's level of impairment on the roadside. The science is not there yet.

Canada is unable to train our own officers in Canada and needs to send our officers to expensive, lengthy training in the United States, and this training currently has wait lists.

The legalization of marijuana will definitely impact our ability to trade internationally. Have the Liberals noticed that we are negotiating NAFTA? Do the Liberals think that having a drug policy way out of sync with our American neighbours will improve trade or thicken the border? For Oshawa and my community, this is a huge problem, as it is for other communities as well.

Let us look at the treaties. Passing Bill C-45 would violate three UN treaties to which Canada is a signatory. In order to legalize marijuana by July 1 and not be in violation of the UN treaties, Canada would have had to withdraw by July 1 of this year, and the Liberal government did not do that. How can Canada hold other countries to account on their treaty obligations when Canada does not even honour its own?

This leads me to this question. Why the rush? There are only 241 days to go until this arbitrary date that the Liberals selected. Provinces, municipalities, police forces, and our indigenous communities have stated they are not ready to implement this legislation. The government knows this; members have heard it in committee.

So many questions have been left unanswered. Will Canadians who use marijuana be able to cross the border into the United States where marijuana is still illegal? No department has been able to answer this question, and Canadians deserve an answer before the legislation is implemented.

How will enforcement officers test for drug impairment on the roadside? Can these tests be constitutionally challenged? Is the science valid? Canadians deserve an answer.

What education programs are in place now to inform youth about the dangers and consequences of marijuana? If they are not in place now, when will this education process begin? The health minister said today $43 million, but there is no timeline.

What will happen to the current medical marijuana system and how will recreational sales impact medical marijuana pricing and distribution?

Canadians deserve answers to these questions before the legislation is passed.

The Liberals talk about the black market. One of the stated goals is to eliminate the black market by creating a legal framework for marijuana, but this is a flawed way of thinking. A variety of factors are being left up to the provinces, such as pricing, distribution, which products are included, and packaging.

We need to listen to the real experts on the ground.

Assistant Commissioner Joanne Crampton, of federal policing criminal operations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said:

As Kathy mentioned, organized crime is a high priority for federal policing, in particular, for the RCMP. We target the highest echelon within the organized crime world. We're very cognizant...and realize that the chances of organized crime being eliminated in the cannabis market would be.... It's probably naive to think that could happen.

Naive, that is what the experts say about the Liberal approach.

Our Conservative position is the same as the Canadian chiefs of police position, to issue tickets for the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana. This approach is more sensible regarding marijuana possession. Instead of rushing to legalize marijuana, Conservatives are working with law enforcement to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Canadians would be spared a criminal record for simple possession of small amounts.

To summarize, the Liberals promised that they wanted to keep marijuana out of the hands of kids. They also promised that they wanted to keep profit out of the hands of organized crime.

My speech ultimately has proven that the Liberal approach is wrong. This bill would not accomplish what they are promising Canadians. This is like a big bill of sale. The bill would actually place children further in harm's way by permitting possession for kids as young as 12. That is grade 6. Home grow ops will expose children living in a dwelling to dangerous living space and increase the production of marijuana and diversion to organized crime. This approach will increase the rate of impaired driving.

The bill leaves so many questions unanswered, which has blindsided law enforcement and other levels of government.

The question is why the Liberals are force-feeding us this deeply flawed bill. The only answer I can come up with is that the government has no problem being deceitful to Canadians in order to keep the Prime Minister's irrresponsible election promise, muddying the water about the implications of full legalization under the bill.

Instead of blindly trying to keep campaign promises at the expense of Canadians' health and safety, perhaps the Liberals should refocus their attention on protecting kids and protecting the public, protecting our trade agreements, and not putting international relationships in jeopardy, particularly the one we have with the United States. They have had no problem breaking other promises, whether it is the balanced budget, electoral reform, or openness and transparency.

It is time the Liberals put the brakes on this legislation until the science supports the ability to ensure the health and safety of Canadians, particularly our kids.

Report StageCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 4:30 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, while the government often talks about reducing the backlog in our courts, what this legislation may actually do is increase the backlog. For example, this legislation provides that Canadians could possess up to 30 grams of marijuana. However, it contains provisions that if they possessed 31 grams of marijuana, they would be criminals, with serious penalties. We have sentences in Bill C-45 of up to 14 years. Arguably, those are not consistent with other similar offences. On that front, I think the government has really not thought this through, and what Bill C-45 would result in is a further backlog in our courts. The bottom line is that no matter how one looks at this, Bill C-45 is a complete and absolute failure.

Report StageCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise this afternoon to speak to Bill C-45, the government's marijuana legalization legislation.

It is a little more than 200 days until July 1, 2018, and a little more than 200 days before the Liberal government plans to legalize marijuana in Canada. With a little more than 200 days to go, the provinces are saying that they are not ready. The municipalities are saying that they cannot be ready. Law enforcement agencies are saying that they are not ready and they cannot be ready for July 1. In turn, the government is saying it really does not care that they are not ready, because it is moving ahead with July 1, 2018, ready or not. Talk about irresponsibility on the part of the government. Then again, we are dealing with a reckless government that is prepared to put the health and safety of Canadians at risk, all so their pot-smoking Prime Minister can actually keep an election promise.

The issues the municipalities and the provinces face in order to deal with the effects of legalization are manifold. The provinces will have to deal with issues around workplace safety, employment standards, and traffic safety. The municipalities will have to deal with issues around licensing, zoning, enforcement, and inspection.

With so much work to do and so little time to do it, no wonder the provinces and the municipalities are saying to the government, “Slow down. Give us time to do what we need to do”. In that regard, some provinces have not yet even unveiled a plan, not even announced a plan to deal with issues around implementation and regulation of marijuana.

Lisa Holmes, who was the mayor very recently of Morinville, about 10 kilometres north of my home town of St. Albert, appeared before the health committee in her capacity as the president of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. She indicated that 96% of urban municipalities in Alberta did not have bylaws or policies in place to deal with the regulation of marijuana in their communities because there was a lack of clarity about the breadth and substance of regulations, both at a provincial and federal level. I think 96% of urban municipalities in Alberta is not unique to Alberta. I think we would find a similar pattern right across Canada.

With respect to law enforcement agencies, it is clear they are not ready. They are saying that they are not ready, and they cannot be ready. The government has basically put them in an impossible position with the rush and the arbitrary July 1, 2018, deadline.

Let us look at the facts in this regard. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police indicated that in order to deal with impaired drivers and more Canadians who would be consuming marijuana, and in order to train their officers, there was a need for about 6,000 officers to receive training. That training takes about 100 days. The association is saying that it cannot take 6,000 officers off the streets for 100 days by July 1, 2018, that it is just impossible.

Then there is the issue of drug recognition experts. Right now, there are approximately 600 drug recognition experts in Canada. It has been said that there is a need for as many as 2,000 drug recognition experts to deal with the effects of marijuana legalization. When an official from Public Safety Canada came before the justice committee during its study of Bill C-46, I asked that official where things were with respect to drug recognition experts and where we would be by July 1, 2018. The response I got was that by July 1, 2018, there might be an additional 100 drug recognition experts. In other words, we would go from 600 to 700 drug recognition experts, when there is a need for as many as 2,000 drug recognition experts.

I know that a little earlier the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice alluded to the fact that this House had passed Bill C-46 in conjunction with this legislation, Bill C-45. One aspect of Bill C-46 is per se limits for THC levels for drug-impaired drivers. The only problem with that is that there is absolutely no correlation whatsoever between drug impairment and THC levels. What that is going to mean is that people will get behind the wheel impaired and get away with it. They will get off because of the government's arbitrary and unscientific per se limits.

Municipalities, provinces, and law enforcement are not ready, and frankly, Canadians are not ready either for the July 1, 2018, date.

In the justice committee's study of Bill C-46, and when I read the transcripts from the health committee, there were a number of witnesses who cited various surveys and studies that indicated that a large percentage of Canadians, particularly young Canadians, have misconceptions about the effects of marijuana usage. This was recognized by the government's own marijuana legalization task force as an issue. The task force, in its report, recommended to the government that it have an early and sustained public awareness campaign. What we have seen from the government is not an early and sustained public awareness campaign. We see a campaign that is barely off the ground, with little more than 200 days before the July 1, 2018, date.

Do members know who else is not ready for July 1, 2018? The government is not ready. Its marijuana legalization bill, Bill C-45, is an absolute shambles of a piece of legislation. It is going to create more problems than it solves.

Let us look at the whole picture. Bill C-45 is going to make our kids, our roads, and our communities less safe. We have a government that has absolutely no plan in terms of a coordinated effort with the provinces and municipalities, Law enforcement does not have the tools and resources to be ready for July 1, 2018, and there has not been a sufficient public awareness campaign to get Canadians ready. Taken together, the government needs to put the brakes on July 1, 2018, and go back to the drawing board.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Bill C-45—Notice of time allocation motionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Madam Speaker, I would like to advise that agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Orders 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the report stage and third reading stage of Bill C-45, an act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other acts.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings of the said stages.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 4 p.m.
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NDP

Christine Moore NDP Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak again to Bill C-45 now that it is at the report stage, having previously commented on certain aspects of the bill at the second reading stage. I will not go over that again, but I would like to address certain elements that were changed in committee, especially the 100-centimetre limit on plant height, which seemed a bit arbitrary to me. I could not understand where that number had come from.

In committee, experts told us this limit might actually backfire, because shorter plants tend to have higher concentrations of THC, producing stronger psychoactive effects. The 100-centimetre limit was therefore removed, which was a good thing.

In committee, it also became clear that the Liberal government is not interested in getting the best bill possible. It was so partisan that when the NDP proposed an amendment to eliminate the 100-centimetre limit, the Liberals insisted on voting it down and proposing their own version a few minutes later saying the exact same thing, just because they did not want us to beat them to the punch. That may not be the best way to treat such a serious issue. I am disappointed.

Initially, we did not plan for edible products to be allowed, but this has changed. We will allow them but only in one year. I would like to speak to this particular issue, which I believe is quite important.

Dried cannabis has to be smoked, which is toxic for the lungs. Any inhaled smoke has a certain degree of pulmonary toxicity, whether it comes from a cattail or a cigarette. However, according to the studies I have read, cannabis smoke is apparently 10 times more toxic for the lungs than tobacco smoke. Let me be clear: I am not telling people to smoke cigarettes. All I am saying is that cannabis is highly toxic for the lungs when it is inhaled.

Thus, by allowing that substance to be included in food, we would at least eliminate the issue of pulmonary toxicity. In spite of that, it was decided to allow people to smoke cannabis before allowing them to eat it, which is illogical. Many people in my riding did not understand why people were being encouraged not to smoke tobacco just about everywhere, while at the same time, smoking another substance would become legal. I can see why people might be confused.

Furthermore, when cannabis is ingested in its edible form, be it as a syrup or lozenge, it is much easier to determine accurately the concentration of its two active ingredients. I would like to say a few words about these two ingredients, because they are important. These studies have yielded some interesting results.

First, cannabis contains two cannabinoids: THC and CBD, also called tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. These two substances seem to have a different effect on our body's endocannabinoid system. THC is the psychoactive ingredient, and it is believed to act on the immune system in such a way as to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, enhance the mood, trigger euphoria, increase appetite, relax the muscles, reduce certain types of seizures and relieve nausea.

We must not forget that it is also the substance that produces euphoria.

Cannabidiol does not produce a euphoric effect. It is used much more for pain relief, reducing nausea and anxiety, controlling epilepsy, immunosuppression, and muscle relaxation. It is also an anti-psychotic, it reduces inflammation and insomnia, and it is calming.

The reason I wanted to take the time to explain this is that many studies have shown the pot available on the streets has increasingly high concentrations of THC and lower and lower concentrations of cannabidiol. That is why we are seeing more and more episodes of toxic psychosis: cannabidiol tends to neutralize the more psychotic effects that may occur.

The product on the streets has higher levels of THC, which means that it is becoming riskier.

The reason I wanted to explain this is because it would make it possible to have edible products in which all chemical substances could be carefully controlled. It would also make it possible to prevent some of the side effects that are common with the increasingly stronger strains of street drugs. One way to better control side effects and psychosis is to increase cannabidiol and reduce THC.

When it comes to dried herb products, it is really hard to control the concentration of substance in each product. What that means is that we are about to legalize a product that is much more difficult to control, but we are waiting to legislate on edible products, even though they would be much easier to control and it would be easier to limit THC and cannabidiol concentrations.

I find that a little strange. It would have made a lot more sense to legalize edibles right away, while imposing limits on the various substances, such as THC and CBD, to determine how much of each substance could go in the products.

The other reason it might be particularly useful to allow edible products and to be able to control each chemical is for the purposes of research and improving our understanding of this substance. Even though medical pot has been in use for a decade or so, the fact remains that knowledge of its effects on the human body is often based on anecdotal evidence. Essentially, this means someone started taking it on their own and found that it helped with a condition they had. Our knowledge is not based on conventional clinical research, but on personal experiences compiled over time. Since some discoveries were based on anecdotal medical evidence, the results are not 100% reliable.

It is important to bear in mind that even though we are talking about recreational use, many people still take cannabis for medical purposes. Even though they do not have a prescription, they decide to try cannabis and find that it helps with their insomnia or other health problems.

Singling out recreational use and completely ignoring those who use cannabis for self-medication is not right. We need more information so we can better educate people on the actual effects of cannabis.

One of the problems is that we currently do not have that information, and many people who might decide to take cannabis could be endangering their health, because they do not fully understand the substance or the circumstances in which it might be useful or dangerous.

This bill should have placed more emphasis on health and the prevention of side effects. I also sincerely believe that not allowing edible products, only dried herb products, is somewhat illogical.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, I am glad to have a chance to speak to Bill C-45 regarding the legalization of cannabis across Canada. I would like to recognize the work of my colleague, the member for Sarnia—Lambton, and thank her for her tireless efforts in ensuring all aspects of this matter are considered before the legislation moves forward.

There are many areas of concern surrounding the bill, mainly in the areas of how the legalization of cannabis will affect the general health of population and issues surrounding youth. I have some deep-rooted concerns about what the legalization of cannabis could do to Canada's youth. I will discuss these concerns in my remarks.

It is necessary to point out just how rushed this legislation is. The government has set an arbitrary date of July 1, 2018, for the legalization of cannabis. This means that by that date, all provinces and territories, including the municipalities and the police forces within these regions, will need to have implemented legislation that allows members of the public to access recreational marijuana. This is a huge ask.

There needs to be time for the appropriate authorities to figure out just how they will handle this new endeavour. It is a serious matter, and should absolutely not be rushed. I worry that the Liberals are more focused on keeping a campaign promise than they are about the health and safety of our communities. Indeed, this is one promise we wish they would not keep, given the wide-ranging implications it could have on society. The legislation needs to be picked apart with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that every aspect of it is considered by the provinces and territories, which will have the responsibility to implement it. Less than one year from now is not enough time, and the government needs to realize that.

In my previous life, before becoming a member of Parliament, I was a chiropractor in my hometown of Estevan. Having a medical background allows me to see the bill through that lens and gives me a unique perspective on just how the legalization of cannabis could affect the general health of our country. I have also been very involved with sport in both a medical capacity and as a coach for youth. I will draw upon those experiences when discussing the use of recreational cannabis.

As most of the members of the House likely know, Bill C-45 recommends the age of 18 as a federal minimum for access to recreational cannabis. While the provinces will be given the power to set a higher age, the federal legislation puts it at 18. This creates an issue from a medical perspective. Given what we should all know and given what health care professionals have testified before committee, the brain continues to develop until the age of 25. In fact, the use of cannabis 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 cannabis under the age of 25.

This is a very significant number and should not be ignored. For this reason, the Canadian Medical Association, CMA, recommends raising the age at which a person can consume cannabis to at least 21. This reflects the assumption that if the age is raised too high, illegal consumption of cannabis will continue.

I need to reiterate the fact that the CMA is bending when it says that the minimum age for cannabis consumption should be 21. All scientific evidence to this point states that there are significantly increased risks with the use of cannabis under the age of 25. It is simply irresponsible for the government to set the minimum age at 18, let alone at 21.

That also leads me to this question. What is the government's motivation? It says that it is a party of scientists and constantly remind us of just how important science is. However, on this issue, the government chooses to ignore the facts. It is clear and utter hypocrisy. The science is clear on this health issue.

Could this be because the Liberals are trying to appeal to a younger demographic of voters in hopes they will win the next election? Is it appropriate for them to ignore the health and safety of young Canadians so they can rush through legislation that will make them appealing to young voters?

Furthermore, if it comes out 10 years from now that the effects of cannabis use are much more damaging than was initially thought, as it was with tobacco, will the government be responsible for that? Given that there is not a plethora of medical-based research on the long-term effects of cannabis use and given how rushed this legislation is, will these Liberals take accountability for the results of legalizing recreational cannabis use? I think not. I do not want to be the person who said, “I told you so”, but I will. The Liberals need to do their job to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians, and the bill simply does not do that.

Another issue I have with this bill, and that many others have expressed to me, has to do with the marketing and, more specifically, the packaging. All Canadians know that in recent years there has been a serious crackdown on how tobacco is marketed. We have all seen the grisly warnings on cigarette packaging. I am sure that many of us are familiar with the idea of plain packaging and other measures that serve to deter people from tobacco use. We know the consequences of smoking tobacco, such as breathing problems, emphysema, and lung cancer, but 50 years ago we did not. When the same happens in regard to cannabis, who will pay that bill? It will be the taxpayer once again, whom the Liberals have no problem deferring their expenses to.

Bill C-45 has absolutely zero provisions on how cannabis can be marketed. While tobacco products need to be covered in warnings and hidden from view behind store counters, cannabis will be allowed to have bright, flashy packaging, with no limitations on how it can be marketed. To me, this is a clear double standard. Both products are harmful to one's health, so why is one regulated and the other not? It is yet another major oversight that this bill does not deal with.

Of course, there is also the matter of public safety in general and how the legalization of cannabis could have serious negative impacts on the well-being of Canadians. Drug-impaired driving is simply not addressed at all in Bill C-45. A recent study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction put the costs of impaired driving from cannabis at $1 billion. If we look at our neighbours in the U.S. who have legalized recreational cannabis, we see that there has been a dramatic increase in fatal car accidents involving the use of cannabis, not to mention the fact there is currently no instrument that can accurately measure a person's level of impairment roadside.

We cannot forget about the impact this legislation will have on our businesses, manufacturers, and employers. There are too many questions and no answers with respect to liability and workplace safety. This will affect on-the-job employee performance. Again, how do we test for this? The increased cost to employers to account for this in policy, procedure, and implementation will further add to the increased economic burden they are already experiencing under the current government.

The legal technicalities and challenges will be astronomical, not to mention the costs of training a police officer, which will be charged to municipal governments, as well as provincial and federal police agencies.

It is absolutely irresponsible to move forward with legislation that is clearly missing some major provisions that would keep our country and Canadians safe. There needs to be some sort of public education program before the legislation can be put in place so that Canadians, especially our youth, can understand the risks associated with partaking in recreational cannabis. One month, two months, three months, even nine months, assuming education starts today, will not be enough. It astounds me that this was not considered by the federal government when drafting this legislation.

As with other matters, such as the framework for palliative care, I would not be surprised to hear that the government is hefting the responsibility over to the provinces and territories, rather than taking on this task itself. It needs to put on its grown-up pants and take on the responsibility to look at all aspects of this legislation instead of focusing on what makes it look cool.

In conclusion, we on this side of the House oppose the legalization of recreational cannabis based on evidence and testimony from professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, scientists, law enforcement officials, and many others. We will do everything possible to ensure that cannabis does not end up in the hands of children, something this bill would actually allow.

Unlike the Prime Minister, we will listen to the experts on this matter who say the bill is flawed. I call on the government to stand up and do what is in the best interests of Canadians, and not what is in the best interests of the government in achieving its political goals. This issue is more than about politics; it is the health, safety, and well-being of our country that is on the line here.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 3:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to talk again about Bill C-45, a bill that will legalize cannabis, which has been illegal for nearly 100 years in Canada. This bill will come into effect in the next eight months.

The hasty passage of this bill raises several concerns, as was pointed out by a very large number of provincial organizations, experts, police forces and health-sector groups. Such a huge and complex bill requires time for reflection and a comprehensive study. It is difficult to understand the Liberals' sense of urgency on this bill, unless they are thinking of the next election, which is slowly but surely approaching. I will add “fortunately” to that.

I oppose this bill because it simply does not meet the objectives that it claims to achieve. To prove it, I propose that the various objectives announced by the Liberal government be reviewed to see whether they pass a reality check, what we call in Quebec l'épreuve des faits, the smell test.

First, the government claims to be protecting the health of young persons by restricting access to cannabis while protecting them from inducements to use it. This objective will simply not be met. To begin with, if we allow Canadians to grow up to four cannabis plants at home, it will be impossible to control children's access to the drug. Therefore, it will be impossible to regulate consumption by the young people who live in these homes. I am not claiming to be an expert in this area. I only observe and listen to what the experts tell us.

Even Health Canada is warning us that marijuana is a dangerous drug for young people. This is what is posted on the department's website: “Youth are especially vulnerable to the health effects of cannabis, because adolescence is a critical time for brain development”.

We know that the brain continues to develop until age 25. During those years, the brain is especially vulnerable to the health effects of marijuana, and use is associated with a disturbing increase in the risk of developing mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. It is estimated that young people who use marijuana are 30% more likely to develop these disorders. When we talk about those under 25, that includes 12-year-olds, who, under the bill, will be able to possess up to 5 grams of marijuana. Yes, members heard me right, children in grades seven to twelve, and even those in grade 6, will be able to have an equivalent of 10 to 15 joints on their person. In short, there is nothing to protect the health of young people. It is more likely that they will be encouraged to use.

Second, the government believes that it will deter the illicit activities associated with cannabis. For now, that is by no means a given. If no improvements are made to the price, packaging, and distribution of cannabis, it is rather unlikely that we will be able to take this market away from organized crime. This is what we have seen in the states of Washington and Colorado, and in several countries such as Uruguay, where home growing did not reduce the involvement of organized crime. In fact, nothing prevents homegrown from being sold for illegal purposes.

That is what Cynthia Coffman, Attorney General of Colorado, said. She is not a Conservative here in the house. She said that criminals were still selling marijuana on the black market, that a host of cartels were operating in Colorado, and that crime has not gone down since marijuana was legalized.

Third, the government claims to be making our roads safer. However, in every state and every country where cannabis was legalized, the drug-impaired driving rate increased. That is what Kevin Sabet, a former advisor to Barack Obama, said about drug policies. He said that there has been an uptick in marijuana-related car accidents in Colorado.

I would like to remind members that drivers who have used marijuana are six times more likely to have a car accident than sober drivers. Also, we recently found out that the government still does not have reliable scientific data on the quantity of marijuana that an individual can use before it hinders his or her ability to drive a vehicle or on how long a person should wait after smoking marijuana before driving. The paper that was presented shows that everything is still vague, even though we are eight months away from legalization. There are no facts and no evidence, but the government is rushing the bill through anyway.

Fourth, the government thinks it will be providing access to quality-controlled cannabis. That is an odd goal considering that this government cannot in any way regulate the home grow that it is allowing.

It is impossible to measure the toxicity, the use of fertilizer, the amount produced, or the presence of mould. Furthermore, in Ontario and Quebec, building owners will not be able to prevent renters from growing marijuana, with all the risks that entails, such as a 24 times greater likelihood of fire, according to experts.

The government thinks it can raise awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis use. If it really wants to achieve that objective, it must address the growing concerns expressed by police officers, provincial governments, municipal governments, and indigenous leaders, all of whom have said they will not be prepared to implement the proposed measures eight months from now.

The government should start by listening to these groups of elected representatives and citizens who have sounded the alarm about the Liberal government's pie in the sky objectives. Raising public awareness means launching massive campaigns and providing law enforcement training for police officers and addiction treatment training for mental health workers. These measures will cost Canadian taxpayers dearly, but responsibility for them will most certainly be downloaded onto the provinces, which will have to pick up the tab for the Liberals' promise. Just as they are getting no help now, they will not get any then either.

To sum up, we have reason to seriously question why the Liberal government is in such a hurry to pass this bill.

Perhaps it is so everyone will quickly forget its promise to reform the electoral system or the many other promises I could mention that have really disappointed Canadians, and especially young Canadians, in this case. This kind of commitment requires a great deal of preparation, but instead we are seeing nothing but improvisation in this case.

I therefore urge the members to look at this bill with a critical eye, be prudent, and vote against it. As the many experts I consulted and discussed this with said, this bill does not in any way meet the government's objectives, which are to keep drugs away from kids, make our streets safer, and eliminate organized crime.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 3:15 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when I look at Bill C-45, for me, personally, it is saying that we need to do what we can for our children. I hear a lot of the arguments from the Conservative benches that under the new law, somehow our children would be worse off, not recognizing that Canada already has the highest participation of youth in the consumption of cannabis in the world. A big part of that driving force is the criminal element. Criminals realize that they can sell and profit by selling to our kids. Would my colleague not at the very least concede that for criminals, it is a viable option to make money by selling to minors? That is something that is happening today.

This is a step in the right direction to deal with crime and deal with young people and the issue of cannabis and marijuana.

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

November 9th, 2017 / 3:10 p.m.
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Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as a small footnote in history, I used to have the honour of serving as the government House leader. After an absence of 807 weeks, it is my privilege to answer this question once again on behalf of my colleague the current government House leader. Again as a historical reference, members might be interested to know that 807 weeks ago, what we were discussing in the Thursday question was reproductive technologies, public safety, competition legislation, species at risk, and pest control. In some ways, things never change. However, to get to the answer, this afternoon we will continue with the report stage debate on Bill C-45, which is the proposed cannabis legislation.

First, let me associate myself, and I am sure all members of the House, with the comments that the opposition House leader made about the respect we all have, and must have, for our veterans and members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

After we return from this constituency week, we will commence debate on Bill C-59, which deals with national security. I would inform the House that, in the interests of transparency, we will be referring this bill to committee before second reading, which will allow for a broader scope of discussion and consideration and possible amendment of the bill in the committee when that deliberation begins.

Following that, we hope to be back to the debate on Bill C-24, which would amend the Salaries Act. Our focus for the rest of the week after we return will be disposing of Bill C-45 at report stage and third reading.

Finally, Thursday of that week will be an allotted day.

Cannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 9th, 2017 / 1:40 p.m.
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Whitby Ontario

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's concern for education. We are taking a public safety approach with Bill C-45, with $240 million to support law enforcement to detect and deter drug-impaired driving, $161 invested in training front-line officers, another $81 million for provinces and territories, and $46 million for a public awareness campaign. Does he not agree that this is a comprehensive approach to providing education and training?