Ending of the Stigma of Substance Use Act

An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

Sponsor

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of Feb. 26, 2020

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Summary

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

This enactment amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to repeal a provision that makes it an offence to possess certain substances.

It also 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.

Ending of the Stigma of Substance Use ActRoutine Proceedings

February 26th, 2020 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-235, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians have died because of the opioid crisis. For the first time in 40 years, according to Statistics Canada, our life expectancy has stalled, and Statistics Canada attributes that to the opioid crisis. It is a national public health crisis.

This bill would delete the possession offence completely from the CDSA, not for trafficking or producing but for people who need our help. We should treat patients as patients and not as criminals. The bill's focus is fundamentally to end stigma.

Canada's public health efforts highlight the importance of ending the stigma that surrounds people who use drugs. Of course, the criminal sanction is the primary stigma in our society.

Decriminalization in other countries has increased the number of people seeking treatment by 60%, and it is supported in Canada by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian Public Health Association and public health experts across our country.

The bill, if passed, will save lives.

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