An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Status

Second reading (House), as of June 15, 2017

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill S-5.

Summary

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

Part 1 of this enactment amends the Tobacco Act. In order to respond to the report of the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health entitled Vaping: Toward a Regulatory Framework for E-Cigarettes, it amends the Act to regulate the manufacture, sale, labelling and promotion of vaping products and changes the title of the Act accordingly. It also amends certain provisions of the Act relating to tobacco products, including with respect to product standards, disclosure of product information, product sale, sending and delivery and product promotion. The schedule to the Act is amended to add menthol and cloves as prohibited additives in all tobacco products. As well, it adds new provisions to the Act, including in respect of inspection and seizure.

Part 1 also makes consequential amendments to the Food and Drugs Act and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.

Part 2 of this enactment amends the Non-smokers’ Health Act to regulate the use of vaping products in the federal workplace and on certain modes of transportation.

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.

October 3rd, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Ramez Ayoub Liberal Thérèse-De Blainville, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Through this amendment, we want to allow the government to monitor and regulate all aspects of chemical substances, whether we are talking about burning or vaporizing cannabis, and all of the accessories used in connection with cannabis. This amendment would give the government the authority to regulate the emissions produced by these products and accessories, such as, for instance, through the imposition of limits on chemical concentration.

This is also related to Bill S-5, which intends to allow the governor in council to regulate vaping product characteristics and emissions.

For all of these good reasons, we are moving the amendment which is before you. I will not read it because it is very technical. It concerns clause 139, lines 25 to 27 on page 81 of the English version.

I am at your disposal to answer questions.

October 3rd, 2017 / 9:15 a.m.
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Liberal

Doug Eyolfson Liberal Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, MB

Thanks. I'd like to say a few things for the record.

Mr. Van Kesteren, I have talked, as you say, to soccer moms. I've talked to school principals and teachers who were, in fact, very much in favour of this. As for town halls, many MPs, including some Conservative MPs, had town halls on this. I can tell you that at the town hall in my riding, which has actually traditionally been a Conservative riding, the support was overwhelmingly in favour of this legislation.

In regard to Mr. Davies' comment about whether or not we're taking on big tobacco, we are tabling Bill S-5, which is on plain packaging of tobacco. We are taking on big tobacco.

September 26th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
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Lynne Hudson President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Cancer Society

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

It is my privilege to be here today on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society, the country's largest health charity and the only charity that supports people with all types of cancer.

My remarks today focus on recommendations numbers one and two in our pre-budget submission: a $10 million partnership with the government of Canada to improve the continuum of care, and the strengthening of the federal tobacco control strategy.

Every single hour, 24 Canadians will hear the words "you have cancer” and join the more than 810,000 Canadians already living with this disease. One in two Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and by 2035 we expect there to be 35% more new cancer cases than there are this year. We continue to make progress in having more Canadians survive cancer, but as many studies show, including the work from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, cancer patients, survivors, and families still face challenges in getting the health information and practical and emotional support they need. Patients who are well informed are more likely to feel empowered and comply with treatment, improving outcomes and saving health care dollars. This emotional support improves not only mental well-being but also individual productivity.

The Canadian Cancer Society is in a strong position to connect more patients and families with the support and services they need when and where they need them. We are Canada's trusted source for cancer information, and every year our services help millions of people access treatment, care, and support, often while they continue to live at home or in a community setting. Our 80-plus community offices across Canada and 100,000 volunteers give us a powerful local presence, and our connection to cancer treatment and research centres from coast to coast provides a vast network for engaging and informing patients, health professionals, and the public.

CCS can help transform cancer care in Canada by complementing the health care system and improving the transition to community care. We propose a $10-million partnership with the federal government to help us empower Canadians so they can better meet their health care needs. With government support to expand our reach and increase our capacity, we will help Canadians learn more about their diagnoses, locate home and palliative care services, connect with peer-support programs, and navigate the health, social, and financial services available to them. By doing so, we will improve quality of life, reduce emotional stress, and help Canadians be more productive in their lives as they remain engaged with their communities and workplaces. In addition, this will drive efficiency within the health care system.

This partnership will achieve four important goals to meet the needs of cancer patients and caregivers: first, increase reach and accessibility of programs and services; second, offer patient-centred, integrated, and seamless access to a suite of services; third, improve engagement with patients and families throughout the continuum of the cancer journey; and fourth, use strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations to enhance services through innovative collaboration.

Our second recommendation is to strengthen the federal tobacco control strategy, scheduled to expire in March 2018. Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in Canada, causing 37,000 deaths annually including 30% of all cancer cases.

In terms of lost productivity, the Conference Board reports that, on average, each smoker costs an employer $3,842 annually. To reach the objective of under 5% tobacco use by 2035, Canada needs a high-impact strategy. Previous budget cuts have undermined impact, with Health Canada's current annual tobacco control budget of $38 million annually representing only 1.2% of the $3.2 billion in annual federal tobacco tax revenue and representing just $1.04 per capita compared with $3.39 in the U.S.

Increased Health Canada investments should at least match the U.S. per capita amount. This amount would allow for enriched incentives for cessation, youth prevention, mass media, indigenous populations, and it would complement pending plain packaging requirements through Bill S-5. The bottom line is that a strengthened tobacco strategy would have a dramatic impact on preventing cancer and saving lives. These two recommendations are practical and affordable steps we can take together. The Canadian Cancer Society is asking for your help and is eager to work with you to achieve these goals.

On behalf of the one in two Canadians who expect a cancer diagnosis and their families and loved ones, we thank you for your time today.

September 15th, 2017 / 8:35 a.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bill Casey

We're bringing meeting number 68 of the Standing Committee on Health to order. We're studying Bill C-45, and our panel this morning will focus on edible products.

While I have a minute, I want to tell the committee—and I've been on a lot of committees—and yesterday was 12 hours straight. Nobody lost their focus, nobody lost their interest, everybody was paying attention, and I thought through this week that all members of the committee have done a really good job of asking the right questions and bringing the right issues up. I'm really pleased and proud to be part of this committee. I just wanted to say that this morning. I was thinking about it last night. In an awful lot of committees, people are not focused, and they lose interest at some point, but nobody has lost interest at all through this whole session, and it's been quite a marathon. I thank you all for doing that. It's been quite a week, and we're not done yet. We have edibles this morning.

To start our panel on edible products, we have three witnesses this morning. Dr. Ryan Vandrey by video conference from Maryland. He's an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University. From the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, we have Dr. Daniel Vigil, manager of marijuana health monitoring and research. From Sensible BC, we have Mr. Dana Larsen, director.

We're going to ask each one of you to make a statement that's a maximum of 10 minutes long. Then when we're done the three opening statements, we'll ask questions for the next little while. We'll start with Dr. Vandrey to make a 10 minute introduction.

September 14th, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
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President, Atlantic Convenience Stores Association

Mike Hammoud

And they're selling it illegally. You don't think for a moment that, as soon as you come up with a standardized pack.... Think about that for a moment. You're going to come up with a standardized pack that could be made very easily by anyone. What would stop them from duplicating that product? And, if you follow the same route of what you're following on Bill S-5, you're saying that everything inside the pack isn't going to have any labelling either.

So how do you distinguish between, inside the pack, what's legal and what's illegal if the package is plain? It doesn't make any sense.

September 14th, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
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Director of Policy, Non-Smokers' Rights Association

Melodie Tilson

It goes far beyond colour. We're talking about fancy fonts. We're talking about package shape and size, opening style; all of these attributes that convey brand images. It's not only about colour. There's a very comprehensive list of restrictions in the government's consultation document on plain packaging, and I refer you to that.

Bill S-5 does not have detailed language in it. That will come in the regulations.

September 14th, 2017 / 4:30 p.m.
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Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Okay. Bill S-5, then, which is dealing I think with tobacco products and plain packaging, would prohibit use of colouring agents to design a trademark on tobacco products—to display a mark—so you'd be looking more for that kind of taking the colour out and taking the branding out.... That would be what you'd like to see added to what's already here. Is that fair?

September 14th, 2017 / 4:05 p.m.
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Mike Hammoud President, Atlantic Convenience Stores Association

Thank you.

Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Mike Hammoud, president of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association, ACSA. On behalf of the ACSA, I'd like to thank the Standing Committee on Health for inviting us here today to speak on the labelling and packaging of retail cannabis as it pertains to Bill C-45.

Within the context of my presentation today, it is our understanding that the objectives of the act are to prevent minors 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. It is also our understanding that the act is intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.

More specifically, the focus today is on the labelling and packaging of regulated cannabis products at retail. To that end, I believe our experience with tobacco retailing has significant relevance to the issues you are dealing with.

First, I will begin with some information about the ACSA, our members and our collaborators. Secondly, I would like to delve into the specific issues of the labelling and packaging of regulated cannabis sales, and our experiences with tobacco packaging and labelling.

The ACSA was established in 2009 as a not-for-profit trade organization to promote responsible convenience retailing and to represent the economic interests of our convenience store members. Today, our membership includes more than two-thirds of the convenience store locations operating in Atlantic Canada.

In collaboration with the Canadian Convenience Stores Association, the Western Convenience Store Association, the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, the Quebec Convenient Stores Association, and the National Convenience Stores Distributors Association, we have considerable experience with and insight into convenience retailing.

Convenience retailers are heavily regulated, be it lottery, food services, beverages, alcohol where available, and in particular tobacco. In tobacco retailing, we have experienced monumental change over the years and we have worked with regulators in our industry to achieve what we believe to be two primary goals. The first is to minimize tobacco consumption among minors; the second is to minimize the rampant distribution of illegal tobacco.

Ladies and gentlemen of the committee, I am of the firm belief that we can bring relative and pertinent insights to your deliberations, so let's move on to the labelling and packaging of federally or provincially regulated cannabis at retail.

At present, legislation—Bill S-5—has been put forward that would introduce plain packaging for tobacco products in Canada. As mentioned earlier, this legislation would eliminate the branding of products. By this we mean the trademarks, individual logos, graphics and colours that differentiate one product from another. With a standardized generic package, the only brand identification would be the product name in a small and simple standardized font. Everything inside would look the same.

The catalyst for this is Australian plain-packaging legislation that came into effect in late 2012. However, that example and others demonstrates that plain packaging doesn't work. In the case of Australia, the reality is that an examination of all publicly available, relevant and reliable data, after five years points to the same conclusion, that there's been no statistically significant decline in Australian smoking prevalence. In the Australian plain-packaging environment, there has also been a dynamic shift in market share between legal and illegal tobacco products, with consumption of illegal products increasing.

Is there a correlation between plain packaging and illegal consumption? Our Australian colleagues are of the opinion, and we concur, that plain packaging is the catalyst for a race to the bottom in terms of the lowest price point being the primary purchase motivator. When the price becomes the primary purchase motivator, that opens the door to illegal purchases that can be made at a fraction of the price of legally sold product.

In Canada, we estimate that illegal products account for some 20% of the overall consumption of cigarettes, with the illegal market share being upwards of 33%, and higher in Ontario. In the end, labelling and packaging are immaterial to many tobacco purchases relative to access to cheap smokes. How would this be any different for retail sales of cannabis?

We know that many illegal cigarettes are sold unbranded and loose in poly bags, also known as baggies, but it should be noted that plain packaging opens the door to increased distribution and sales of counterfeit or look-alike packaged cigarettes, simply because it is so much easier for illegal producers to replicate the packaging. Will your average smoker know the difference? It's unlikely.

More recently, plain tobacco packaging became mandatory in France as of January 1 this year, in what was described by proponents as a decisive weapon against smoking. To the surprise and shock of many, first-quarter sales of cigarettes in France increased 7% compared with the same period in 2016. The French health ministry dismissed the sales increase, saying that plain packaging would not influence current smokers, that plain packaging was principally targeting younger people, and that the impact would only become apparent in the medium- to long-term future. What we have, then, is a plain-packaging advocate saying that plain packaging will have no impact on established smokers, and that the target population for plain packaging is youth.

Well, look at the situation in the Canadian context. As far back as 2003, there have been strict rules in place in Canada related to tobacco marketing that prevent the advertising or promotion of tobacco, testimonials, accessories, and anything else tobacco-related that could be appealing to young people. Today there is also mandatory use of locked cabinets or screens at point of sale to hide tobacco products from display.

At the same time, a large majority of retailers are vigilant in screening out underage buyers through the widespread practice of asking for proof of age identification. Our industry takes great pride in its ability to be a responsible and diligent partner to government in the controlled sale of age-restricted products like tobacco. Such training programs as “We Expect ID” are a commitment to assist retailers and their staff in upholding the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct and to support public health and safety. Underage youth in Canada today have negligible exposure to cigarette packaging and labelling. In our opinion, the unintended impacts of plain packaging, such as the lowest-price mentality among consumers or the risk of increased contraband sales, far outweigh any perceived benefits.

It is notable that youth cannabis smoking rates in Canada are twice as high as youth smoking rates. According to Health Canada, the national youth tobacco smoking rate in 2015 was 10%, while the national youth cannabis smoking rate was 21%. Generic packaging would not be an effective tool in achieving what is a common goal for all of us, which is negligible rates of both tobacco and cannabis consumption among youth. We believe that if governments are serious about reducing smoking, be it tobacco or cannabis, then there is much more work that can be done in the areas of education and smoking cessation.

Convenience retailers believe that the types of initiatives in place for tobacco retail sales in Canada can be replicated effectively for the retail sale of cannabis without resorting to the questionable value and impact of plain labelling and packaging. As is the case with tobacco, industry, anti-cannabis groups, health care organizations, and governments should work together to minimize the number of youth and adults consuming cannabis.

In conclusion, we recommend to the committee that branding on cannabis retail packaging be allowed for two important reasons: one, to reduce the ability of criminals to produce and distribute contraband product; and two, to minimize the impact of lowest price point by educating and allowing legal consumers to make informed decisions on their product choices.

Thank you.

September 14th, 2017 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

My question now is for Ms. Baxter, and it has to do with Bill S-5. As we look at Bill S-5 and the vaping, and we start thinking about what we should put in as language around cannabis, are there any concerns about potency guidelines or anything like that you think we should be including?

September 14th, 2017 / 10:55 a.m.
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Brenda Baxter Director General, Workplace Directorate, Labour Program, Department of Employment and Social Development

Mr. Chair and members of the committee, I am very pleased to appear before you to discuss workplace safety.

I am accompanied by my colleague Eric Advokaat, senior director of Occupational Health and Safety.

Responsibility for labour matters in Canada, including workplace safety, is shared between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. For more than 100 years now, the labour program has been protecting the rights and well-being of both workers and employers in federally regulated sectors, which represent approximately 8% of Canadian workers. This includes creating and maintaining safe and healthy workplaces.

As part of its mandate, the labour program is equally responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Non-smokers' Health Act.

Enacted in 1989, the purpose of the Non-smokers’ Health Act and the non-smokers' health regulations is to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke in federally regulated workplaces, including in the federal private sector, federal crown corporations, designated federal agencies, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the federal public service, and Parliament, as well as on certain modes of transportation, such as ships, trains, and aircraft.

The administration of the Non-smokers’ Health Act is the joint responsibility of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and the Minister of Transport. The former is responsible for the act's application to federally regulated workplaces, and the latter for its application to common federally regulated transportation carriers.

The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour is solely responsible for designating inspectors to ensure compliance with the act. Fines for offences under the Non-smokers’ Health Act range from $1,000 to $10,000 for employers, and $50 to $1,000 for individuals.

Since 2007, over the past 10 years, there have been a total of 39 complaints under the Non-smokers’ Health Act, with an average of less than two per year in the past five years. This represents 1% of all of the health and safety complaints under just one part of the Canada Labour Code. There are very few complaints under this act.

To date, no prosecution has been filed under the Non-smokers' Health Act.

Since the Non-smokers' Health Act and the non-smokers' health regulations were introduced in 1989, public views with regard to smoking and second-hand smoke have greatly evolved.

In 2007, in light of scientific evidence on the danger of second-hand smoke, the non-smokers' health regulations were amended to eliminate provisions allowing for the designation of smoking rooms and areas in federally regulated workplaces. Since then, all persons, including employees and members of the public, have been prohibited from smoking in any federally regulated workplace and on certain modes of transportation, except in highly restricted smoking areas such as living accommodations or motor vehicles to which only one person has access during a shift.

More recently, new amendments to the Non-smokers' Health Act were proposed under Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

The proposed tobacco and vaping products act, Bill S-5, would amend the Non-smokers' Health Act to add a prohibition against the vaping of tobacco in federally regulated workplaces and on certain modes of transportation. In addition, the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation recommended that federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions extend the current restrictions in place for smoking tobacco to the smoking of cannabis. As a result, amendments to the Non-smokers' Health Act are correspondingly being proposed through Bill C-45.

Bill C-45 proposes to amend the definition of smoke under the Non-smokers' Health Act to include cannabis. Provincial and territorial governments would be responsible for deciding whether to restrict the smoking and vaping of tobacco and cannabis to other public spaces. Should both these bills be approved by Parliament, the smoking and vaping of tobacco or cannabis would be regulated under the Non-smokers' Health Act in all federally regulated workplaces and on certain modes of transportation such as trains, planes, and boats where they cross provincial or international boundaries.

The changes we are proposing would assist in the protection of employees' health and safety at work under federal jurisdiction purview.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

September 13th, 2017 / 4:25 p.m.
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Medical Officer of Health, Toronto Public Health, City of Toronto

Dr. Eileen de Villa

That's okay. I'm fairly flexible with the title, although I did work hard to get it.

Good afternoon, and thank you, Mr. Chair and members of the committee, for the opportunity to speak with you today.

As you heard, I am Dr. Eileen de Villa, and I am the medical officer of health for the City of Toronto, where I serve the 2.8 million residents of our very fine city.

I should point out that my comments here today represent not just my views, but also the views of Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Board of Health and are restricted to the proposed legislation for non-medical cannabis.

Just to kick off, I'd like to say that we do support the goal of Bill C-45 to provide Canadians with legal access to cannabis and, in doing so, ending the practice of criminalizing people who consume cannabis for non-medical purposes.

As you've heard from presenters thus far, the science on cannabis is indeed still emerging. We do know that it's not a benign substance. We know that it's a psychoactive substance with known harms of use. It's therefore imperative, in my opinion and in that of my organization, that the development of a regulatory framework be guided by public health principles to balance legal access to cannabis with reducing harms of use.

As you've heard already from some of the other witnesses before you today, there is health evidence that shows that smoking cannabis is linked to a number of health conditions, respiratory disorders, including bronchitis and cancer. It's also known to impair memory, attention span, and other cognitive functioning. It impairs psychomotor abilities, including motor coordination and divided attention. These are relevant public health concerns because of their connection to impaired driving in particular.

You've also heard that heavy cannabis use during adolescence has been linked to more serious and long-lasting outcomes such as greater likelihood of developing dependence and impairments in memory and verbal learning. In addition, the risk of dependence increases when use is initiated in adolescence, as rightfully pointed out by Dr. Maté.

As you may know, motor vehicle accidents are the main contributor to Canada's burden of disease and injury when it comes to cannabis. A recent study revealed that many Canadian youth consider cannabis to be less impairing than alcohol; however, as mentioned earlier, the psychoactive effects of cannabis can negatively affect the cognitive and psychomotor skills needed for driving.

In addition to strengthening penalties for impaired driving by amending the Criminal Code as put forward in Bill C-45, preventing canabis-impaired driving will require targeted public education. It's my understanding that the Government of Canada is preparing a public campaign to raise awareness about drug-impaired driving. Toronto Public Health would recommend that the government use evidence-informed messaging targeting youth and young adults in particular and launch this campaign without delay.

Further, I would recommend that the government support municipalities, provinces, and territories with local initiatives to discourage people from driving after consuming cannabis.

In its final recommendations to the government, the task force on cannabis legalization and regulation expressed concerns about the reliability of predicting impairment based on levels of THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis detected in samples of bodily fluids. These concerns have also been raised by other organizations, including those in the United States. I would recommend that the government make further investments in research and refinements to technology to better link THC levels with impairment and crash risk for developing evidence-informed standards.

The stated key objective of Bill C-45 to prevent young people from accessing cannabis is central to adopting a public health approach to the legalization of cannabis. We must apply lessons learned from tobacco and alcohol in developing the appropriate policy framework at all orders of government to prevent young people from using cannabis.

As mentioned by my colleague, evidence about tobacco advertising shows that it has an impact on youth smoking and that comprehensive advertising bans are most effective in reducing tobacco use and initiation. Personally, I welcome the requirements in Bill C-45 that maintain existing promotion and marketing rules in place for tobacco, including restrictions on point of sale promotion. We would also like to see these restrictions strengthened to include advertising in such venues as movies, video games, and other media, including online marketing and advertising, which are accessible to youth. Further, additional research on the impact of marketing and promotion is essential for making evidence-informed amendments to regulations and to develop prevention strategies. Federal funding should be targeted to this area.

Furthermore, we know that labelling and packaging are being used for promoting tobacco and tobacco brands. While I appreciate that Bill C-45 prohibits packaging and labelling of cannabis in a way that could be appealing to young people, a key omission in the act is a requirement for the plain packaging of retail cannabis products.

In a recent report, the Smoke-Free Ontario Scientific Advisory Committee identified plain packaging as a highly impactful tool for reducing tobacco use. The requirement for plain and standardized packaging for tobacco is currently being proposed in federal Bill S-5, and we recommend you do likewise for cannabis.

Fundamental to a public health approach for legalizing access to cannabis is regulating retail access. I am pleased with the Province of Ontario's recently announced intent to establish a provincially controlled agency for the retail sale and distribution of non-medical cannabis, separate from that for alcohol. A government-controlled retail and distribution system that is guided by public health objectives and social responsibility will ensure better control of health protective measures for cannabis use. I also urge your government to direct other provinces and territories to establish a retail and distribution system that is guided by public health principles and social responsibility.

I commend the government for not legalizing access to cannabis-based edible products until comprehensive regulations for its production, distribution, and sale have been developed. The experience in the United States cautions us of the challenges posed by edible cannabis products, including accidental consumption by children, overconsumption due to the delay in feeling the psychoactive effects, and in ensuring standardization of the potency of cannabis in edible products.

I would now like to draw your attention to some of the limitations of the existing cannabis research. While there is growing evidence about the health impacts of cannabis, some of the research findings are inconsistent or even contradictory, and causal relationships have not always been established. There is still much that we don't know. Most of the research to date has focused on frequent, chronic use, and the results must be interpreted in that context. More evidence is needed about occasional and moderate use, as this comprises the majority of cannabis use. I therefore urge you to earmark funding for research related to the full range of health impacts of cannabis use, in particular for occasional and moderate consumption.

Evidence-informed public education will be imperative for implementing an effective health-promoting regulatory framework for cannabis. There is an opportunity to promote a culture of moderation and harm reduction for cannabis that may extend to other substance use, especially among young people. The Government of Canada has stated its plan to pass Bill C-45 by July 1, 2018. However, in the meantime, Canadians continue to be arrested for possession of cannabis. Criminalization of cannabis use and possession impacts social determinants of health such as access to employment and housing. Given that cannabis possession will soon be made lawful in Canada, I urge you to immediately decriminalize the possession of non-medical cannabis for personal use.

In closing, I would like to reaffirm that Toronto Public Health supports the stated intent of Bill C-45 and recommends strengthening the health promoting requirements in the bill. I appreciate the complexity of building a regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis. Given that we're still learning about the impacts of cannabis use, the legal framework for cannabis must allow for strengthening health promoting policies while curtailing the influence of profit-driven policies. I look forward to ongoing consultations with the Government of Canada on the evolving policy landscape for this important public health issue.

Thank you for your attention.

Tobacco and Vaping Products ActRoutine Proceedings

June 15th, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Health

moved for leave to introduce Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

June 1st, 2017 / 5:20 p.m.
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Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I have the honour to inform the House that messages have been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bills, to which the concurrence of the House is desired: Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Indian Act (elimination of sex-based inequities in registration); and Bill S-5, An Act to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

April 6th, 2017 / 12:10 p.m.
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Deputy Minister, Department of Health

Simon Kennedy

Just by looking at my latest notes on this, I believe our plan is to move ahead on plain packaging relatively expeditiously. We have legislation before the House now, in BillS-5, that will give us some additional authorities needed to take action on plain packaging. We would be doing this largely through regulation, so I don't think you're going to be seeing a plain packaging bill as a stand-alone. The legislation we've already brought into the House will give us some extra oomph that will be needed, but we would be looking at probably, largely, regulatory measures to move ahead.

I just want to underline that we are entirely dedicated to getting this done and getting it done as quickly as possible, but we would not envisage another bill that would need to be brought forward for that.